PGCB Gives Go-Ahead to Sands Casino Bethlehem Sale


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The sale of Sands Bethlehem to Wind Creek Hospitality has finally cleared its last regulatory hurdles; parties expected to close the deal by Friday

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Las Vegas giant Las Vegas Sands is set to offload its smallest casino resort after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board finally gave on Wednesday the go-ahead for the sale of Sands Casino Bethlehem to Wind Creek Hospitality, the gaming and hospitality arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The transaction is expected to close as early as Friday. Wind Creek has agreed to pay $1.3 billion for the casino resort, which is the closest full-blown gaming property to New York City.

The sale of Sands Bethlehem to Wind Creek was originally announced last spring, but it was not until this past Wednesday when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board finally ruled on the deal. Commenting on clearing their final regulatory hurdle, Wind Creek President and CEO said in a statement that they are pleased with PGCB’s decision “and anticipate moving quickly to close the transaction.”

Sands Bethlehem President Brian Carr added that they are “thankful for the strong foundation that Las Vegas Sands provided for us over the past decade” and that “it is exciting to now shift our focus to the future as we begin the process to rebrand the property to Wind Creek Bethlehem.”

The Rebrand

The first change that will occur once Wind Creek takes over will be the property’s rebrand. Sands Bethlehem will be renamed as Wind Creek Bethlehem, a name that will reflect the new chapter in the development of the casino complex.

Wind Creek informed the PGCB that it has set $15 million for the property’s rebranding. The process is expected to be completed within 90 days after the purchase deal is finalized.

Sands Bethlehem currently features a 183,000-square-foot casino with 3,000 slot machines and electronic table games and 200 table games, a 282-room hotel, food and beverage outlets, retail space, and a multi-purpose event center. Wind Creek has revealed an ambitious plan to boost the Las Vegas-style resort’s offering with exciting new additions.

The Expansion

Wind Creek Bethlehem’s new facilities will be opened in phases. Wind Creek told Pennsylvania gaming regulators on Wednesday that the addition of more hotel rooms and meeting space was their priority.

The gaming and hospitality company plans to invest $90 million into the first expansion phase. It will include the addition of a new 276-room hotel and 42,000 square feet of meeting space. Wind Creek explained that demand for rooms and meeting space far exceeds what is currently available at the property. The project is expected to be completed in two years’ time.

The second expansion phase involves the transformation of the No. 2 Machine Shop at the former Bethlehem Steel site into a 300,000-square-foot adventure and water park. The facility will also feature a 400-room hotel.

Wind Creek said that financing of the acquisition of Sands Bethlehem includes $100 million designated for the development of the adventure and water park, but the company has decided to up its investment and is seeking to attract development partners and to secure another $150 million for the project.

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The post PGCB Gives Go-Ahead to Sands Casino Bethlehem Sale appeared first on Casino News Daily.

May 30, 2019


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