Las Vegas Sands Corp and Wind Creek Hospitality announced in March 2018, a $1.3 billion deal involving the sale of the Sands Bethlehem Casino. But aside from the announcement of the deal, no further details were disclosed by both parties.
The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania houses a 282-room four diamond hotel, a 150,000 square foot retail mall, a massive 183,000 square foot casino with 200 table games and 3,000 slots, as well as a multi-purpose event center and several food and beverage outlets. The resort sits on 117 acres, in which the long-vacant Steel General Office (SGO) building currently stands, along with the No.2 Machine Shop and several parking lots.
Las Vegas Sands owns most of Sands BethWorks Gaming LLC, which currently owns the casino, the events center, and the surrounding land measuring 56 acres. Ten per cent of BethWorks Gaming is shared by local attorney and developer Michael Perrucci, New York real estate developer Barry Gosin, and other investment partners.
Sands BethWorks Retail LLC owns the rest of the land, with ownership divided 50/50 between Perrucci and the Sands. The company’s holdings include the outlet mall, the SGO building, parking lots, and the No.2 Machine Shop.
Further Details on Sands Casino Sale Revealed
It has now been revealed that Wind Creek will acquire the casino, events center, hotel, outlet mall and some parking lots. Ownership of the property will still stay with Perrucci and his business partners, though it’s understood they will sell their stake.
Last month, the Sands and Wind Creek’s PCI Gaming Authority filed a petition for a change of ownership with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board which involves a $3.75 million fee. As per the filing, Perrucci will execute a ground lease with Wind Creek, the details of which cannot be made public due to a non-disclosure agreement.
The only piece of information that the developer shared was that they will retain ownership of the SGO, the annex, and certain parts of parking lots. The board is still unable to schedule a hearing for the request.
$190 Million Redevelopment Planned
Once the sale is completed, Wind Creek will redevelop the No.2 Machine Shop and turn it into an indoor water park and will expand the hotel, adding 300 rooms in a massive $190 million investment. During an interview in January 2019, Arthur Mothershed, vice president of business development for Wind Creek said they will control the site.
Sands spokeswoman Julia Corwin will stay with Wind Creek following the sale. She has not yet issued any comment on the latest progress on the deal.
City of Bethlehem Welcomes Deal
The Wind Creek deal has sparked optimism among officials in the city of Bethlehem, with the director of community and economic development Alicia Miller Karner welcoming Wind Creek’s decision to reinvest in a property that has remained ignored for years.
It would also be beneficial for Bethlehem if Perrucci and his business partners retain ownership of the 103-year-old SGO building that has stood dormant for decades after Bethlehem Steel Corp decided to move its executives to Martin Tower back in 1972. The building has been empty since the mid-1990s, though there have been interests in redeveloping the establishment.
Bethlehem treats the SGO as an important building encapsulating a lot of history. Mayor Bob Donchez thinks it is just fitting that the building is preserved. Karner said they are excited about Perrucci’s plans for the historic 13-storey SGO building.
Perrucci’s company Peron Development plays a huge role in the ongoing revitalization of East Third Street, investing $22 million in the development of Five10Flats, a 95-unit luxury apartment building. Retail spaces and restaurants have also been built across the street, with two more buildings planned.
Change Of Ownership Fee
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s investigative and legal teams are currently looking into the petition and will give their response within 30 days. The board will decide with finality as to the amount of fee to charge with regards to the change of ownership but it is highly likely that the same $3.75 million fee will be charged, given that this was also the amount that Meadows and Presque Isle casinos recently paid in sale fees.
The board will meet again on Wednesday, April 17 and then on Wednesday, May 15 to make a decision on the matter.

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