Coalition opposes casinos

As Pennsylvania moves closer to issuing slots licenses, a statewide coalition opposing casinos is fighting to get the legislation repealed.

Dianne Berlin, volunteer coordinator of CasinoFreePA, will be a speaker at a community meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rockwood Christian & Missionary Alliance Legalized Gambling. Berlin has been speaking out against gambling for 12 years.

The informational meeting will focus on the impact of casinos on communities, how the law was passed and why it should be repealed.

“I like to empower the people who attend and let them be well-informed,” Berlin said. “I will discuss a little bit of the background of Act 71, reasons to repeal and let them know the costs of gambling.”

Berlin said before the gambling legislation was voted into law, public hearings for input were not held.

“The public did not have opportunity to look at finished legislation before the representatives and senators voted on it,” she said.

The meeting is cosponsored by the Somerset County Conservancy. Roger Latuch, the secretary/treasurer of conservancy, said the meeting was not set-up to “pick on” Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

“We’re not at all picking on Seven Springs even though they are applying for slots. Here we are looking at all slots parlors,” he said. “All over the state not just Somerset County.”

Berlin encourages anyone who is curious about the slots licenses to attend her presentation.

“I would imagine people who really want to know what this may mean to your community will attend,” she said.

For more information about the organization visit Independent gambling studies are available on the coalitions Web site.