Owner Las Vegas Sands Corporation inked a deal to sell Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion in 2018.
The transaction closed in spring 2019. As a result, the reign of former owner Sheldon Adelson, who was strongly opposed to online gambling, came to a close. As the sale closed, Sands applied for a PA online casino and online poker license on Wind Creek’s behalf.
Additionally, the property is no longer known as Sands. Now, it is known as Wind Creek Bethlehem.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved the application in October 2018 despite the lack of a plan for Wind Creek Bethlehem online gambling. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians also submitted an application for a $10 million sports betting license.
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What Wind Creek Bethlehem will offer
|Online Casino||Online Sports Betting||Online Poker||Other states with online|
|Wind Creek||Yes, TBD||Eventually||No||None|
The Wind Creek Bethlehem PA online gambling plan
As a condition of the $1.3 billion sale to Wind Creek Hospitality, owner Las Vegas Sands Corporation was forced to apply for a PA license to operate online poker, online slots, and online table games.
It was certainly an interesting move, considering Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s founder and principal owner, Sheldon Adelson, has done everything in his power to fight the spread of online gambling across the US.
The company’s anti-online gambling stance came to the fore once again at an October meeting of the PGCB. There, Sands executives testified the company has no knowledge of Wind Creek’s online gambling plans, but it disapproved of whatever those plans might be.
Representatives from Wind Creek also testified it had no concrete plans. Sands officials also confirmed the company would not use the licenses if the property’s sale to Wind Creek fell through.
Plan, or lack thereof, approved
Despite all that, the PGCB went ahead and approved the application. The casino’s new owners have expressed their intent to roll out PA online casino, poker sites, and sports betting.
Unfortunately, Wind Creek has zero experience with online gambling, so it will need to look for partners and could be forced to wait until at least 2020 before it can get something off the ground in PA.
Currently, it’s impossible to say what a Wind Creek online casino might look like in PA. Because it appears even Wind Creek Hospitality has no idea.
About Wind Creek Bethlehem
Before Wind Creek swooped in, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened in Northeastern Pennsylvania on the former Bethlehem Steel Company site in May 2009. It has been one of the top two grossing casinos in the state ever since.
The casino is open 24/7 and features more than 3,000 slot machines, 200 table games, and a 30-table poker room.
It is a draw for local players and visitors from out of state. In fact, Sands sits just 82 miles from New York City and 50 miles from Philadelphia.
In March of 2018, Sands Corp. signed a deal to sell the property for $1.3 billion. An Alabama tribal casino company called Wind Creek Hospitality will soon take over. The sale of the property should close sometime in the spring of 2019.
Sands Bethlehem Online Casino Review
It is hard to have high expectations for the Sands Bethlehem online casino platform mostly because there is not much to get excited about yet. With the sale to Wind Creek not final, the property cannot move forward on an online gambling plan. Additionally, the casino will be one of the last to the market as a result of the delay.