PA Gaming Control Board Renews Casino Operatorís License For Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today unanimously voted to renew the Category 2 casino operator’s license of Sands Bethworks, LLC, operator of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Northampton County.
The seven member Board determined that Sands Bethworks had fulfilled the obligations under its current casino operator’s license and therefore qualified to have its license renewed. The new license is good for a three-year period.
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. A public input hearing was held for Sands Bethworks on October 15, 2013 at the Bethlehem Town Hall. At the hearing, representatives for Sands Bethworks submitted exhibits and presented testimony on various aspects of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem operation since its current license was renewed in April 2010. The public was also permitted to provide testimony on the casino and its impact in the community.
In reaching its decision, the Board also reviewed testimony received at the hearing from local government officials and the PA State Police, along with the Gaming Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, and Casino Compliance. Each testified as to Sands Bethworks’ performance since receiving its last operator’s license renewal.
Additionally, a public hearing was held in Harrisburg today to permit Board members to further question Sands Bethworks representatives about any remaining issues prior to voting on the renewal. A visual presentation provided at today’s meeting is available on the Board’s web site, www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov, under the Board Meetings tab.
Since opening in May 2009, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem has generated more than $800 million in tax revenue through slot machine and table games play. The facility currently employs over 2,200 persons in which 89% are Pennsylvania residents and 35% are minorities. In addition, the complex has also opened a hotel, entertainment facility and outlet shopping mall since its last license renewal.
The next meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in the PGCB’s Public Hearing Room located on the second floor of Strawberry Square in Harrisburg.
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 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry. The 12 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects.
A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board’s regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.
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