The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), this week, renewed Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem’s operating license for another five years. The Sands Berthworks, LLC-operated and Northampton County-based casino was found to have been in compliance with all of its obligations under the previously approved license and thus is qualified for a license renewal.
The license renewal decision was arrived at by the seven members of the PGCB and was based on a thorough review process that involved inputs from both the public and the operator itself. A public input hearing came first earlier this year – on April 5, to be more precise – in the City of Bethlehem with the casino’s personnel being given the opportunity to shed light on various aspects of the establishment’s operations since the previous license was granted back in 2014. Members of the public were also given the opportunity to provide testimony on the casino and how its operations had impacted the community.
During this week’s hearing, the Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem president, Brian Carr took the PGCB and the members of the public who present through a 48-slide presentation that detailed various aspects of the $1 billion gambling complex that sits on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel. As it was during the first hearing, Carr spoke about the casino offerings, the available non-gambling amenities as well as the impact the casino had had on the community since it began operating.
Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem was launched in May 2009, and since then it has generated close to $4 billion in gross revenue from table games and slot machines, $1.6 billion of which returned to the Commonwealth in the form of gaming tax revenue.
The casino currently hosts over 3,000 slot machines, 026 poker tables and 189 table games on its 150,709 square feet of space. As the casino enters into its next five years of licensed operation, it made renovations worth $5.7 million to its high-limit table game salon and $6 million worth of overhauls to its poker room. In addition to this, the facility also spent $7.4 million in the installation of what is now the largest electronic table games stadium in the United States. Customers, therefore, have so much to look forward to.
No Mention of Sale
One thing that never came during the Wednesday hearing was the $1.3 billion deal to sell the Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem to Wind Creek Hospitality. The deal is expected to close either towards the end of the year or in early 2019 but this is all subject to a number of closing conditions including regulatory review. This deal has already been Okayed by the PGCB but the agency has yet to receive a change of ownership and control petition from Sands. However, the PGCB is already vetting the Wind Creek executives who have filed applications with the state.