PA Gaming Control Board Renews Slots License For Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today unanimously voted to renew the Category 2 slot machine license of Sands Bethworks Gaming, LLC, operator of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
The seven member Board determined that Sands Bethworks Gaming had fulfilled the obligations under its slot operator’s license and therefore qualified to have its license renewed.
Today’s decision was based on a process utilized by the Board that enables both the operator and the public to provide information relevant to the renewal decision. That process included a public input hearing that was held for Sands Bethworks on February 3, 2010 at the Bethlehem Town Hall where the Sands submitted exhibits and presented testimony that they have invested $750 million in construction of the facility in an old ore pit at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant. The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem currently maintains approximately 3,150 slot machines on the gaming floor.
Also at the hearing, testimony was received from Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, the PA State Police, along with the Gaming Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, Auditing Bureau, Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, and Casino Compliance. Each testified as to the Sands’ performance since receiving its license.
Since its opening in May of 2009, the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem has generated approximately $206 million in gross terminal revenue, with approximately $113.4 million going to gaming taxes. The casino currently employs over 900 employees with an expectation of nearly 400 more jobs with the addition of table games later this year. The Board also approved the Sands’ table games certification at today’s meeting.
The facility submitted for review their Diversity Plan and reported that approximately 20% of their employees are minorities and, additionally, 45% of their employees are female.
The Gaming Control Board’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling also reported to the Board on the Sands’ satisfaction of the Problem Gambling Plan and any approved amendments to that plan since opening.
A public hearing was held in Harrisburg today, April 7, 2010, to permit Board members to further question Sands representatives about any remaining issues prior to deciding on the renewal.
About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania’s first new state agency in nearly 40 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. To date, with nine of a maximum fourteen casinos in operation, legalized gaming in the Commonwealth has created over 8,000 new living wage jobs, revenue that has provided property tax reduction in each of the past two years for all homeowners, and funds that have reinvigorated Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry. A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.pgcb.state.pa.us. At this web site, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available.
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