February 3rd, 2009


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Gains PA Gaming Control Board Approval To Alter Initial Construction Plans

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today placed conditions on its approval of a request by The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to permit the casino to modify the scope of its initial project.

The approval allows The Sands to delay completion of the hotel, retail and multi-purpose facility portions of its project until after the initial opening of the permanent slot machine facility.  The Sands’ current target is to open its casino to the public in May 2009.

The Board, however, only granted the petition on the condition that The Sands meet with the Gaming Control Board’s Financial Suitability Task Force on a monthly basis.  When the Task Force decides that Sands is in a position to complete the project, it will inform the Board and a hearing will be scheduled to discuss when the unfinished portions of the project will be completed.

During testimony at today’s public meeting, Sands’ officers explained that current economic conditions and increased costs necessitate these changes. They also told the Board that it will proceed with the completion of the principle portions of its Bethlehem project - the casino, parking garage, four restaurants and two bars. The Sands estimates that just that portion of the project will now cost $743 million.

In addition, The Sands assured the Board that it will also fulfill its previously stated plans to open with 3,000 slot machines and seek approval to increase that amount to the maximum-allowed 5,000 slot machines within six months of opening. The Sands will also add a fifth restaurant to the facility at that time.

The Board also approved a second petition from The Sands granting an extension of the Gaming Act’s requirement to begin slot operations within one-year after issuance of its slot operator license. The Act allows the Board to extend that period if the license holder shows good cause

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