Bethlehem Sands Casino

Sands Bethlehem is considered as one of the top gaming experience in Pennsylvania.

The casino is located inside the Sands resort. It possesses a 140,000 sq ft gaming floor featuring about 3,000 slot machines and their classic, new and exciting games!

Furthermore this gambling venue has over 300 gaming tables and a poker room with 35 cash game tables featuring Texas Hold'em and Omaha variants.

This resort houses dining options that will meet every taste. The Coil Bar offers tasty drinks in the lively center of the casino floor.

If you want to dance all night long you can choose to spend the night at the vision bar or at the sands Bethlehem event center and enjoy great live music shows.

Stay in the luxurious and stylish rooms and suites of The Sands hotel while being in Bethlehem.

This establishment asks its customers to wear proper outfit and show a valid ID.

The City

Bethlehem is a city of about 75,020 people and is located in the eastern part of state of Pennsylvania.

The region is very dynamic through its 10 main festivals and 150 mini-festivals held throughout the whole year by the community of Bethlehem. Therefore, the city center and streets are often very lively.

Several historic sites and museums welcome you and help you understand the Moravian culture and past.

If you want some fresh air and a peaceful place to relax or do some outdoor activities you can stop by one of the city's 35 parks. Public pools, fishing parties, dog parks, golf courses, and world-class skate plazas will make your stay even more enjoyable.

Shopping-lovers can choose among small boutiques to large shopping centers. In both case they will find all the items they want from jewelry to fashion clothing.

At night, all the popular and lively spots are close to each other. Therefore you can go in different bars and clubs and have fun all night long with your friends.

Dining options are as various as in the casinos. Over 80 restaurants cooking ethnic cuisine from all over the world will enlighten your evenings.

Presentation of the Bethlehem Sands Casino

Sands Bethlehem is considered as one of the top gaming experience in Pennsylvania.

The casino is loc

Sands Bethlehem is considered as one of the top gaming experience in Pennsylvania.

The casino is located inside the Sands resort. It possesses a 140,000 sq ft gaming floor featuring about 3,000 slot machines and their classic, new and exciting games!

Furthermore this gambling venue has over 300 gaming tables and a poker room with 35 cash game tables featuring Texas Hold'em and Omaha variants.

This resort houses dining options that will meet every taste. The Coil Bar offers tasty drinks in the lively center of the casino floor.

If you want to dance all night long you can choose to spend the night at the vision bar or at the sands Bethlehem event center and enjoy great live music shows.

Stay in the luxurious and stylish rooms and suites of The Sands hotel while being in Bethlehem.

This establishment asks its customers to wear proper outfit and show a valid ID.

The City

Bethlehem is a city of about 75,020 people and is located in the eastern part of state of Pennsylvan

Bethlehem is a city of about 75,020 people and is located in the eastern part of state of Pennsylvania.

The region is very dynamic through its 10 main festivals and 150 mini-festivals held throughout the whole year by the community of Bethlehem. Therefore, the city center and streets are often very lively.

Several historic sites and museums welcome you and help you understand the Moravian culture and past.

If you want some fresh air and a peaceful place to relax or do some outdoor activities you can stop by one of the city's 35 parks. Public pools, fishing parties, dog parks, golf courses, and world-class skate plazas will make your stay even more enjoyable.

Shopping-lovers can choose among small boutiques to large shopping centers. In both case they will find all the items they want from jewelry to fashion clothing.

At night, all the popular and lively spots are close to each other. Therefore you can go in different bars and clubs and have fun all night long with your friends.

Dining options are as various as in the casinos. Over 80 restaurants cooking ethnic cuisine from all over the world will enlighten your evenings.

Sands Bethlehem Casino Sale to Alabama Tribe Approved by Pennsylvania Gaming Regulators

The $1.3 billion sale of Sands Bethlehem to a Native American tribe based in Alabama has been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

With a new owner, the former Sands Bethlehem will soon undergo a rebranding and major renovation and expansion. (Image: Wind Creek Hospitality)

The PGCB unanimously signed off on the ownership change from Las Vegas Sands to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, which operates casinos under its subsidiary Wind Creek Hospitality.

Tribal representatives went before gaming regulators on Wednesday to explain their commitment to the casino resort, and provide examples on how theyve become involved in the communities where they operate hotels and gaming venues. PGCB officials were convinced, and voted 7-0 in favor of the transfer.

Wind Creek will need to pay the state a $3.75 million license transfer fee. The deal could officially close as early as tomorrow. The leadership team employed by Sands is being retained.

Wind Creek owns and operates casinos in Alabama, Florida, Nevada, Aruba, Curacao, and now Pennsylvania. The transaction frees up money for Sands, which is embarking on a $3.3 billion expansion at its Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The company is additionally focused on winning licensure in Japan.

Property Upgrades

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians wont simply be renaming Sands Bethlehem to Wind Creek Bethlehem. Instead, the tribe plans to invest more than a quarter of billion dollars to vastly expand the propertys footprint.

The first phase is a $90 million hotel expansion that will add 276 rooms and 42,000 square feet of new meeting space. That will nearly double to number of occupancies at the resort.

Tribal officials are also studying the abandoned and decaying No. 2 Machine Shop at the adjacent former Bethlehem Steel site. The early blueprint is to transform the large space into a 300,000-square-foot water and theme park at a cost of $250 million.

We expect Wind Creek Bethlehem to be the best resort and casino in the Northeast, the company explained in its presentation. Thats a tall task, as commercial casinos continue to spread across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The tribe will be keeping close tabs on New York City. Sands Bethlehem has targeted Manhattan with daily bus service to and from the casino. But there are concerns that the most populated city in the US will allow a commercial casino to be built there in the coming years.

Community Partner

Following a devastating tornado in early March in Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians offered to pay for all 23 funerals of the victims. The tribe spent $184,000 to cover the final arrangements.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said the Native American group first offered to donate $50,000 to help with the costs, but later said it would like to assist all 23 families. However, not everyone is willing to accept money from an entity that primarily makes its earnings from gambling.

In January, the tribe offered $25,000 to an Alabama church that was damaged by a tornado. The congregation decided to refuse the money, but nonetheless was thankful for the offer. The funds were instead given to other relief efforts surrounding the tornado.

South Side history: book discusses history with Bethlehem Steel and presence of Sands Casino

Bethlehem Steel Corporation was one of the iconic symbols of the American industrial economy. Toward the end of the companys dominance in industrial America, Bethlehem Steel struggled to compete with the new market, and in 2001, the company declared bankruptcy before dissolving and selling its remaining assets to International Steel Group in 2003.

In 2007, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem purchased the former Bethlehem Steel plant and opened the casino in May 2009.

Today, the casino and remnants of the steel plant share a space in South Bethlehem. There are many who are looking into online games and playslots4realmoney.com has provided them with the best results. Chloe Taft, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, wrote the book From Steel to Slots, which discusses Bethlehems layered landscape in context of its history with Bethlehem Steel and the presence of the Sands Casino in South Bethlehem.

On April 13, Taft visited Lehigh to speak about her book.

Early Steel City

Seth Moglen, an associate professor of English, said immigrants flooded into Bethlehem during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work in the steel plant.

If you go and you look at the beautiful houses on the North Side of Bethlehem, you can get a taste of the extraordinary wealth produced for the owners and management of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Moglen said. On the other side of the river, South Bethlehem (came) into being as a working-class, steel worker community with very tight-knit working-class, ethnic neighborhoods.

Moglen said if you ask the oldest residents, their fathers earned 96 cents for a 12-hour shift at Bethlehem Steel.

It is true that the economic exploitation was intense, Moglen said. Its also true that the Bethlehem Steel company gave sustained working-class jobs to immigrants for 130 years.

Unions create more security

One of the central dramas of the evolution of Bethlehem was the building of the United Steelworkers union.

Moglen said people fought back and struggled to create safe working conditions, pensions and health plans, all of which they ultimately secured through the creation of the union. This took more than half a century.

Between the 1940s and the closure of the Steel in the 1990s, there emerged a new era of extraordinary working class prosperity and economic security in Bethlehem, Moglen said.

Taft said Puerto Ricans in the 1940s disproportionately worked in the hottest part of the factory, and had to fight for their labor rights for decades.

Steelmaking remained dirty and dangerous work, but working people were making good union wages and could send their kids to college in large numbers for the first time. They were guaranteed high-quality pensions, health plans and job security

.

End of an Era

The collapse of Bethlehem Steel in the 1990s lead to extraordinary hardship, Moglen said.

He said the jobs came to an end over the course of a decade, and thousands of people lost their jobs and a way of life.

Steelmaking was teamwork, high-skilled labor this was not conveyor-belt, alienated assembly line labor, Moglen said. Many steelworkers loved the work they did. They loved the camaraderie of the steel plant, and that way of life, passed down for generations, and it just comes to an end.

Donnyell Bourgeois, 16, said Tafts presentation about Bethlehem Steel showed him how one entity could be so powerful in a community.

It was Bethlehem Steel Corporation that pioneered the legal strategy that said when they went through bankruptcy, they could sell off their assets, while the Orwellian term was, shedding pension and healthcare obligations, Moglen said.

Searching for a new economic engine

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the South Side was gradually being transformed from a working-class union community to one where a growing wave of migrants entered the city and had access to low-paying, service sector and low-skilled non-union factory work.

As a result, Moglen said, there were massive spikes in poverty.

More than a quarter of South Side families and more than 90 percent of children attending South Bethlehem public schools today are living in poverty, Moglen said. Ninety percent of the children attending Broughal Middle School are on free or reduced lunch, which means they are living at or below the federal poverty level.

The Bethlehem government faced a huge problem. The biggest economic driver of the city was gone, so the tax base was failing. Not only is the steel plant not paying taxes on revenues, but all the union workers are not paying taxes on union wages.

However, early historical preservation of North Bethlehem, the presence of Lehigh University which has many students with disposable income and St. Lukes Hospital are stabilizing forces to keep Bethlehem from becoming a blighted community.

Slot machines appear in the warehouse

Moglen said the Bethlehem city government made a big bet on casinos. He said it wanted to bring in a single-anchor engine for redevelopment that would preserve the site of the steel stacks with some integrity.

This problem was intensified in the case of Bethlehem because the Bethlehem Steel site was not only the economic engine of the city but also the geographical, symbolic and psychological core of the city, Moglen said.

The promise of the casino was that it would revive the tax-base, generate large host fees and create good jobs for community members who would be able to pay taxes again.

Moglen said scholars and journalists who had studied the historical relationship between places like Atlantic City, New Jersey, and their casinos warned that was not how it generally worked out.

The outcome for the casino development is quite mixed, Moglen said. Some positive developments have taken place.

The Sands spent $400 million on the slot machine warehouse in the casino, which was designed in a superficial manner to echo the steel plant, Moglen said. Taft said the architectural design of the casino floor is not dissimilar to a warehouse floor. Furthermore, t he casino investment in the steel site helped to enable the city and nonprofit organizations, such as ArtsQuest, to produce the SteelStacks site. Moglen said Sands provided jobs to hundreds of people.

Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, runs the only non-union casino in Las Vegas .

Moglen said Adelson and the Sand Corporation were only willing to return the western edge of the Bethlehem Steel site to the city for the development of ArtsQuest after the city had already invested millions of dollars in preparing the infrastructure if Las Vegas Sands Corporation could add restrictions to the deed that say under no circumstances could anyone talk about labor unions on the Bethlehem Steel site. The area is city property and includes a public television station, a performing arts center and a public park.

Moglen said the deed stated these conditions also apply to speech that might offend a reasonable casino owner.

All of this is on the site on which the United Steelworkers union was built as a result of generations of working people s struggles.

The casino was supposed to transform the quality of life for people in the city, including the South Side, Moglen said. But South Side residents are asking: Where s the transformation in our quality of life? Why are so many of our children still living in poverty?'

Bourgeois said he believes the casino, Bethlehem leadership and the community need to come together to find the most appropriate ways to ensure everyone has an equal stake in the citys industries.

Moglen said the city government will say a large portion of the money has gone toward covering the rising costs of pensions to municipal employees that the city would not have otherwise been able to afford and that s true.

Has it dramatically improved the quality of life of South Side residents? Moglen asked. I think there might be quite varied opinions in the city about that question. Does the casino provide a model for sustained economic development, with high-paying jobs and satisfying work, for the city s residents? There seems to be little evidence for that.

But certainly, the Las Vegas Sands has made a great deal of money, Moglen said.

After Selling Sands Bethlehem, Adelson Out To Get Sands Bethlehem

There is a reason Sheldon Adelson is a billionaire. He can be a ruthless businessman. His company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., is proving that to be the case with its actions since selling Sands Bethlehem Casino for $1.3 billion.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians will soon be the owners of the Pennsylvania casino. The tribes company, Wind Creek Hospitality, took a big risk with the purchase. However, the propertys success and the chance to be a part of the PA online casino industry.

Now though, all that is in jeopardy. And Adelson and Sands are mostly to blame.

Sands lobbying for an NYC casino

Part of the reason Sands Bethlehem is one of the top-performing casinos in the state is its proximity to New York City. The Big Apple is just 86 miles away. That makes Sands Bethlehem just about the closest resort-style casino to the city.

Currently, there are no large casinos in the five boroughs. More than one casino company is trying to change that. Last week, representatives from both MGM and Sands met with New York lawmakers about an NYC casino project.

Adelson started the push for an NYC property late last year. In other words, once he sold his Pennsylvania casino, he began the push for a casino that would massively impact the customer traffic at that casino.

The NYC casino is far from a sure thing. Just six years ago, the state agreed to expand gambling with upstate commercial casinos.

All of those projects are financially floundering, so putting a casino in the city that would further negatively impact those properties is a tough sell. Especially when you consider that Gov. Andrew Cuomos position on gambling expansion is not to consider new projects that have a negative financial impact on existing ones.

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