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Sands Bethlehem Decides To Proceed With Expansion Plan

Sands Casino Resort BethlehemThe Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has confirmed that it will go ahead with the proposal to expand its facilities in a major way. It intends to add more table games, slot machines as well as new restaurants, which will cause it to have the biggest gaming floor in the state.

In a statement, Mark Juliano CEO Las Vegas Sands Corp said

We are well above capacity, particularly on the weekend. We know there are nights when people can't find an open slot machine or a seat at a table they can afford. There's a need to add space to handle the demand

The decision to go ahead came immediately after New Jersey voters rejected a proposal to remove Atlantic City’s monopoly over the casino industry and to develop two new casinos in North Jersey. The two new casinos in North Jersey could have posed a threat to the Sands Bethlehem facility but now that the referendum has been shelved for the next two years, Sands Bethlehem was happy to proceed with the expansion project.

Sands Bethlehem

Juliano however cautioned that the proposal still needs approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The additional table games planned cross the limit of 300 set by the state’s gaming bill, requiring special approval from the Board. According to Juliano, the facility would open by late 2017.

Sands’ planned expansion will bring the total number of slots in the casino to 3,543, the highest for the state. It is also planning to establish a separate room for poker with 30 tables. Its private gaming space ‘The Paiza’ lounge which typically hosts high rollers who bet thousands of dollars per hand is also set to get more tables. Sands is hoping to draw in far more high stakes players to its facility. It recently renovated 30 rooms and a private lounge on its top floor to cater to high stake gamblers.

Sands is said to be the most successful casino amongst Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos although growth has slowed in recent months. Offering 3,000 slot machines and over 230 table games, the complex currently attracts over 9 million visitors annually. In 2015 it recorded gross gambling revenue of over $500 million and a net profit of $140 million.

The biggest challenge for the casino comes from competing casinos that are being developed in neighbouring states. New York for example has approved four new casino licences though the earliest casino will open only in 2023. Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez welcomed the decision, saying that he hoped for more investment from the Sands Bethlehem facility.


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