Pennsylvania regulators approve $1.3bn sale of Sands Bethlehem

By Matthew Enderby

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved Wind Creek Hospitality’s purchase of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, with the $1.3bn deal expected to be closed on Friday.

The PGCB expressed concerns over the deal, the main one being the relatively small number of table games Wind Creek operates at its existing nine venues.

Sands Bethlehem has 189 table games, while Wind Creek only has 75 across all of its casinos.

The PGCB wanted reassurance Wind Creek management would have the experience required to operate this significant increase in games.

Jay Dorris, President of the PGI Gaming Authority and Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which operates Wind Creek, alleviated these fears by confirming all nine senior managers of Sands Bethlehem had signed contracts to stay on in their current positions.

Further constructions were also discussed with the PGCB; Dorris said Wind Creek had allocated $190m for work to begin right away on a hotel and event centre at the Sands Bethlehem location.

He also disclosed plans to convert the former Bethlehem Steel Machine shop on the property to a third hotel and an indoor adventure park.

Dorris expects this to cost $250m and plans to bring in investment partners to cover the cost.


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