Las Vegas Sands to sell Pennsylvania casino for $1.3 billion - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
2.6°C

Las Vegas Sands to sell Pennsylvania casino for $1.3 billion

FILE - This Feb. 25, 2015, file photo shows Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pa. Las Vegas Sands Corp. is selling its Bethlehem casino to Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians based in Alabama in a $1.3 billion deal announced Thursday, March 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
March 08, 2018 - 2:12 PM

Las Vegas Sands Corp. is selling its Pennsylvania casino to an American Indian tribe from Alabama for $1.3 billion, the company announced Thursday.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened in 2009 on the site of Bethlehem Steel's former headquarters plant, transforming what was then the nation's largest abandoned industrial complex into an $800 million destination that lured gamblers from New York and New Jersey. Sands later added a shopping mall, performing arts venue and 300-room hotel.

"Sands Bethlehem has become one of the leading regional entertainment and gaming destinations in the United States and we are extremely proud of the positive contributions the property has made for Bethlehem ... and eastern Pennsylvania," Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire mogul who leads Sands, said in a statement.

Though it raked in nearly $550 million from slot machines and table games last year — second among Pennsylvania's 12 casinos — the casino is the smallest in Sands' portfolio, which includes The Venetian in Las Vegas and resorts in Macau and Singapore. Fitch Ratings said in a note to investors that Bethlehem "does not fit well" in the casino giant's strategy of building huge resort casinos in major international destinations.

Sands, which had wanted to unload the casino for some time, did not immediately reveal what it planned to do with the proceeds but said the sale would "enhance liquidity as Sands pursues new development opportunities and returns capital to shareholders."

The buyer is Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, whose properties include casinos in Alabama and the Caribbean, a greyhound track in Alabama and poker rooms in Florida.

Stephanie Bryan, tribal chair and CEO of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said the purchase will help "secure a long and prosperous future for our tribe."

The deal requires approval from Pennsylvania gambling regulators, a process that could take a year. Sands Bethlehem President Brian Carr said the pending sale would have no impact on casino operations.

Keith Foley, an analyst with Moody's Investors Service, said the move makes sense for Sands, especially with Pennsylvania in the midst of a dramatic gambling expansion that will add as many as 10 new "mini-casinos." Moody's has taken a dim view of expansion, saying the state already is saturated with casinos.

Foley said the sale "eliminates risk" for Sands and frees up cash for more lucrative ventures.

Pennsylvania is the nation's No. 2 state for commercial casino gross revenues, second to Nevada, and No. 1 in tax revenue it gets from gambling.

___

Rubinkam reported from northeast Pennsylvania.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

  • Popular penticton News
  • Comments
  • Police search for missing Kelowna woman
    KELOWNA - Kelowna RCMP are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 27-year-old woman. RCMP say Joenna Saunders was last heard from on Nov. 27. She was reported missing on Dec.
  • Girl opens Christmas present she gave to boy when she dumped him in 1971
    ST. ALBERT, Alta. - A man in Edmonton who made international headlines for holding onto a wrapped Christmas gift from a high-school girlfriend who dumped him nearly 50 years ago finally learned wh
  • Water quality advisory in effect in North Okanagan
    NORTH OKANAGAN - The district has issued a water quality advisory for the North Okanagan. The Regional District of North Okanagan Silver Star Water Utility in conjunction with Interior Healt
  • Kamloops Fire Rescue respond to McDonalds deep fryer fire
    KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops McDonalds was temporarily closed last night due to a small deep fryer fire. Kamloops Fire Rescue arrived at the McDonalds location in Sahali at about 11:30 p.m. last ni
  • Vernon fast food restaurant held up by man with syringe
    VERNON - RCMP are on the hunt for a suspect after a robbery at a Vernon restaurant earlier this week. A man threatened staff with an allegedly contaminated needle on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Wr
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile