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 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.
The Wind Creek online casino is now live, with an online and retail sportsbook to follow.
Best Online Casino Bonuses
What Wind Creek Bethlehem will offer
|Online Casino||Online Sports Betting||Online Poker||Other states with online|
|Wind Creek||July, 2020||TBD 2020 (Betfred)||TBD||None|
Wind Creek Bethlehem PA online gambling licensing
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 a meeting of the PGCB ahead of the deal closing. 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.
At the time, representatives from Wind Creek testified it had no concrete plans. Despite all that, the PGCB went ahead and approved the application.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Wind Creek began making headway towards online gaming.
Wind Creek launches online casino, sports betting to follow
In June 2020, Wind Creek got provisional approval to offer retail and online sports betting, and also announced plans to launch an online casino product.
The Wind Creek online casino went live in late July 2020, becoming the tenth iGaming operator in the state. An online Betfred sportsbook will follow. Wind Creek gave an original target date of late November for their retail Betfred sportsbook opening.
Wind Creek was a bit slow out getting into the online gaming market in PA, but they are well on their way in expanding their online presence now.
It remains to be seen if Wind Creek will make use of its online poker license some time down the road as well.
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 quickly became one of the top two grossing casinos in the state.
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. The property officially changed its branding to Wind Creek Casino in July of 2019 and got into the online gambling game in mid-2020.
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.