Red Rake Gaming Hopes Social Casino Deal With Wind Creek Leads To Real Money In PA

Wind Creek is partnering with European game provider Red Rake Gaming for social casino. Red Rake hopes that real-money gaming is in the future.

Red Rake, a Spain and Malta-based online casino game supplier,now has ties to Pennsylvania online gambling thanks to a new social casino deal with Wind Creek Bethlehem’s parent company, Wind Creek Hospitality.

That potentially sets the table for things to come, namely a real-money gaming move into the United States by Red Rake.

Wind Creek has licenses for online slots and table games as well as online poker. Wind Creek also plans to move forward on sports betting in Pennsylvania at some point.

Red Rake eyeing US real-money market

Red Rake’s objective is hiding in plain sight. A quote in the announcement of the deal mentions moving to real-money gaming in the US.

Nick Barr, Managing Director of Red Rake Malta, spilled his company’s underlying objective  in announcing the deal:

This a significant step for us, because not only is this our first partner in the social casino industry as a B2B entity, but also because it is the foundation of what we expect to be another great regulated market for us in terms of real money. We anticipate a great partnership with Wind Creek for many years to come.

Red Rake has been in the gaming business since 2011. The company began a move toward real money in 2016, the company states on its website.

Engage Innovation is the platform provider for the Wind Creek social casino. The Red Rake deal is to supply games to the existing social platform.

No platform provider for the online wagering has been announced, though Wind Creek said they had plans to find one as far back as May of this year.

Red Rake’s suite of slots, video bingo, and table games should go live in the coming weeks on windcreekcasino.com.

Why add more social games to Wind Creek?

There’s also a nugget in the background, too, about what seems to be behind Red Rake’s venture now with Wind Creek.

After all, Wind Creek already offers plenty of options on its existing social casino.

So why double down unless there’s new revenue?

The answer seems to be future revenue. The Bethlehem location is not far from the New York City Metro area. Traditionally it’s been a revenue leader in the Keystone State.

Adding new offerings on the social gaming site could quickly help revenue elsewhere. That’s because an influx of email addresses and information from potential patrons will flow.

These emails will come in handy when it is time to find new customers to sign up for a Wind Creek Bethlehem real-money online casino product.

Wind Creek has other locations but lacks online

Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH) owns the Bethlehem location.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama owns the WCH company. Wind Creek also operates gaming facilities in Alabama, Nevada, Aruba, and Curacao.

WCH announced they were buying the former Sand’s location for $1.3 billion in March of 2018. But the deal took more than a year to close

Ron Nesbitt, WCH Vice President of Game Operations, explained the usefulness of social gambling as a patron retention tool:


We are delighted to enhance our offering with the addition of Red Rake Gaming content. The games provided are very strong, with high-quality graphics, action-packed feature games, and immersive bonus rounds. Combined with our top-notch rewards program, Red Rake’s game offerings will help us ensure a fantastic player experience.

And the sign-up information provided to play social casino games definitely should mean growing a new pool of potential players.

Wind Creek Casino Is Officially On Its Way To Bethlehem

After more than a year, Wind Creek finally gets to set up shop. They are officially the new owners of what was the Sands Bethlehem casino.

Pennsylvania’s leader in table games is finally getting its new owner.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) officially approved the sale of Sands Bethlehem Casino to Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The $1.3 billion deal wrapped Friday, finalizing a process that began in March 2018.

Wind Creek’s rebranding and renovations begin immediately

The casino will be renamed Wind Creek Bethlehem. The new owners will invest $15 million in rebranding efforts, which will include changing out signs at the entrance, hotel, event center, and outlet mall.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, renovation efforts will go much further. Approximately $340 million will be spent to add another hotel tower with nearly 300 rooms and create an additional 42,000 square feet to the event center.

Water park planned to enhance tourism

The Wind Creek group is also hoping to build a 300,000-square-foot water and adventure park, along with a third 400-450 room hotel on the property.

In comments made to the PGCB, Wind Creek officials declared their desire to make the Bethlehem property the “No. 1 resort destination in the Northeast.”

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Ownership change should bring greater focus to the casino property

The sale of the Bethlehem Sands casino should also bring a healthy change of perspective. The Bethlehem casino will become just the 10th property owned by the Wind Creek group.

It is estimated that 20% of Wind Creek’s earnings will arrive via the Wind Creek Bethlehem. In contrast,  Sands Corporation has a much larger portfolio that includes international mega resorts.

Employees will stay on under new ownership

Employees at the Bethlehem casino, which has been open for more than a decade, will also be able to stay on with the new management team.

“One of the things that drew us to this property is the quality and experience of the service-minded employees,” Wind Creek Hospitality President and CEO James Dorris said in a press release Monday. “Each of the nine executives has accepted a multi-year contract with us, and we hope that all team members want to continue their work here as part of the Wind Creek family. We will need them as we grow the offerings at Wind Creek Bethlehem.”

Wind Creek will look to build on Bethlehem’s gambling success

According to PennLive, Pennsylvania’s total casino revenue in 2018 was the highest total ever. Sands Bethlehem played a key role in that, finishing first in table games revenue and third in slot machine revenue among Pennsylvania’s casinos.

Now, the new owners will look to enhance those numbers. Many upgrades are planned for the property. Wind Creek Hospitality will also introduce its rewards program to its new customers. The Wind Creek Rewards program offers travel perks to its Caribbean resorts Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, and Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino.

With all that is planned for the property, the future for Wind Creek Bethlehem should be an exciting one.

Alicia Miller Karner, Bethlehem’s community and economic development director, may have said it best to the Morning Call.

“To have the sale in our rearview mirror allows us to really look forward to the development.”