Sands Bethlehem has launched its Electronic Table Games stadium this week, the first Pennsylvania casino to offer such a product.

Sands and ETGs, at a glance

The announcement that Sands had launched ETGs came this past week, via the provider of the games, International Game Technology (IGT).

According to a press release:

Sands Bethlehem installed 150 of IGT’s Dynasty ETG cabinets, featuring live roulette and live baccarat games. The installation includes four live dealing tables, connected to game terminals that enable players to electronically place wagers on multiple games at the same time.

The installation of the ETG’s covers 5,900 square feet.

Table games, just bigger

Offering table gaming via an electronic platform, of course, is not a terribly new concept. Offering blackjack, roulette and other traditional table games via a machine format has been around for quite a while.

But the “stadium” style offering has not been deployed en masse in the US.

More from the presser from Nick Khin, IGT Senior Vice President of Sales, North American Gaming & Interactive:

“Developing the largest live ETG destination in the United States with our partners at Sands Bethlehem marks an important milestone for IGT. IGT’s Dynasty product is a versatile, best-of-breed ETG solution that is designed to engage a broad range of players, deliver dynamic gaming experiences and evolve with the digital era of gaming.”

Wait, Sands isn’t worried about casino jobs?

The implementation of automated table games — which require no dealers to staff — is an interesting decision from Sands.

One of the reasons Sands and its CEO, Sheldon Adelson, opposes Pennsylvania online casinos is because of the impact on casino-related jobs. The introduction of massive automated table games would seem to be in conflict with that idea.

From Forbes in 2013:

But Adelson also thinks that online gambling is “suicidal” for the U.S. casino industry in the long run and will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.

And testimony from Sands Bethlehem President Mark Juliano in front of the Pennsylvania Senate:

Approving proposals such as internet gambling, slot machines at OTB’s and VGT’s undermine the intention of Pennsylvania’s gaming act. The goal was to see benefits from the expansion of gambling; approving these proposals will undermine the operators who have built destinations and will place thousands of jobs at risk and potentially end investment in existing facilities.

Which leads to the obvious question: Does Sands really care about jobs in PA, or just its own bottom line? The introduction of gaming machines that theoretically hurt jobs for live dealers would seem to answer that question.

Photo by CyberXRef used under license CC BY-SA 3.0