Wind Creek Acquires Sands Bethlehem; Ready for Changes

The Sands Bethlehem Casino is soon to be the Sands no more. Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provided conditional approval for a joint petition to change the control of the Sands gaming license from the Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC to the PCI Gaming Authority, a company operating under Wind Creek Hospitality. The new owner is affiliated with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and the group is ready to spend a pretty penny to renovate the venue.

Wind Creek Bethlehem

The Sands will have a new name, the Wind Creek Bethlehem, with the new owner set to pay a $3.75 million changeover fee as well as spending even more on renovations as well as beginning online gaming, sports betting and more.

During the Board hearing this week, Wind Creek made a commitment to pay $1.4 billion for the casino resort acquisition and for expansion efforts. The company reportedly has over 100 investors who plan on helping to fund the loan for the transaction.

Out of the 12 casinos in operation in the state of Pennsylvania, the Sands Bethlehem is second only to the Parx Casino. The venue sees around 9 million visitors on a yearly basis and more could be seen if the new owner markets the property well. The location of the casino places it near around 8 million people within a 100 mile radius. The casino is located near New York City which only helps to increase potential visitors.

Online Casino Gaming and Sports Betting

Wind Creek Bethlehem is ready to get going with their new operations in Pennsylvania. The company plans on offering online gaming as well as sports betting. The deal for the Sands has been in the works for quite some time and it was back in October 2018 that representatives from the Sands went to the Board to request an interactive gaming license for the property.

The Sands applied without knowing that Wind Creek wanted to offer online gaming, but their efforts have paid off because now the operator can get started. They do not have an online casino partner as of yet but they are actively negotiating with platform providers. The company hopes to be ready for launch in a three month time frame after closing of the acquisition is completed.

The company was asked about sport betting and they are not as far along in the process of finding a partner. They also do not have a sports betting license.

Along with offering new gaming options, Wind Creek has plans to develop an event space with 42,000 square feet in size. They also will be adding more hotel rooms. Another sector of land, consisting of 120 acres, will be used by the new owner to construct a new hotel tower with guest rooms along with an adventure and water park.

Wind Creek feels that these changes will bring up to 1.4 million new visitors to the property every year, a number that will certainly help increase the company’s bottom line.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.