In Pennsylvania, Las Vegas Sands Corporation has reportedly agreed a deal that will see it sell the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to the federally-recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians for approximately $1.3 billion.
According to a Thursday report from The Morning Call newspaper, the agreement for the Northampton County venue, which offers 3,000 slots alongside 230 gaming tables and recently posted net annual revenues of $579 million, now requires the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and could take up to a year to close.
The newspaper reported that Las Vegas Sands Corporation has been intermittently attempting to offload the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem with its 159,000 sq ft gaming floor and 300 hotel rooms since 2013 while it inked a deal exactly a year ago that would have seen rival casino operator MGM Resorts International purchase the venue for around the same price. But, this agreement purportedly fell through in May to leave the property’s 2,519 employees worried for their jobs.
“We are pleased to have built a strong foundation that can be the basis for the property’s future success and, more importantly, we are proud to have delivered on our promise of bringing thousands of good paying jobs, generating significant economic impact and revitalizing a site of sentimental and historical importance,” reportedly read an official statement from Sheldon Adelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
The Morning Call cited Patrick Dumont, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President for Las Vegas Sands Corporation, as detailing that his firm will likely use any proceeds from the sale of the Bethlehem property, which opened in May of 2009 at a cost of $800 million, to expand internationally. As an example, the newspaper reported that October saw the Las Vegas-based operator announce that it is planning to spend around $1.1 billion over the next three years to build new capital projects in the Asian gambling hotspot of Macau.
For its part, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians hails from Alabama and is reportedly responsible via its Wind Creek Hospitality vehicle for a trio of casinos in the southern state encompassing the Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Montgomery and Wind Creek Wetumpka venues. The group moreover owns the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino along with the Renaissance Curacao properties in the Caribbean and manages the Wa She Shu Casino in the small Nevada town of Gardnerville on behalf of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California.
“The addition of this fantastic team and property to our portfolio furthers our desire to secure a long and prosperous future for our tribe,” reportedly read an official statement from Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which additionally runs the Mobile Greyhound Park as well as Florida’s Creek Entertainment Gretna and Pensacola Greyhound Track and Poker Room.
The Morning Call reported that the deal will see the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem rechristened as the Wind Creek Bethlehem before speculating that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is likely to retain the venue’s current management team due its familiarity with the local casino market.
“We look forward to working with our new team members and the community to cement Wind Creek Bethlehem’s position as the premier entertainment destination in the northeast,” read the statement from Bryan. “We are proud of our ability to become valued partners with communities surrounding our Wind Creek Hospitality properties.”