• 75°

WCH acquires Bethlehem casino

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved Wind Creek Hospitality’s (WCH) acquisition of the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn. for $1.3 billion on May 29, according to officials.

The transaction close comes after approximately 14 months of regulatory review and other closing conditions.

“We are pleased with the decision of PGCB and anticipate moving quickly to close the transaction,” Wind Creek President and CEO Jay Dorris said in a release. “I look forward to welcoming all the Sands Bethlehem employees to the Wind Creek family.”

The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, which will be integrated into the WCH portfolio as Wind Creek Bethlehem, represents a best-in-class, Las Vegas-style resort, located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles from New York City. Amenities include a 282-room AAA Four Diamond hotel, a 183,000 square foot casino floor featuring 3,000 slots and electronic table games, 200 table games, numerous food and beverage outlets, a 150,000 square foot retail mall and a multi-purpose event center.

Sands President and COO Brian Carr said, “We are thankful for the strong foundation that Las Vegas Sands provided for us over the past decade. It is exciting to now shift our focus to the future as we begin the process to rebrand the property to Wind Creek Bethlehem.”

Poarch Creek Indians Tribal Chair and CEO Stephanie Bryan said, “The purchase of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is a valuable addition to the Tribe’s existing gaming portfolio. This investment will expand and complement our already extensive Wind Creek Hospitality brand’s offerings, and bring added economic growth to the Lehigh Valley.”

WCH anticipates an immediate effort to expand the property to include construction of a 300-room hotel adjacent to the casino. Additionally, WCH plans to move forward with renovation of the existing No. 2 Machine Shop Bethlehem Steel site with ideas such as an adventure and water park that will include a 400 or so room hotel.