Wind Creek Bethlehem (formerly Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem) is a casino hotel located in the Bethlehem Works development site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is owned and operated by Wind Creek Hospitality, an entity of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
The property is one of five stand-alone casinos that was awarded a slots license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on December 20, 2006. It was developed by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. The casino was slated to open in July 2008, but demolition took longer than expected due to the heavy concrete foundations of the old steel building. Its opening was delayed until the second quarter of 2009. The first concrete for the complex, which is located on the former Bethlehem Steel land on the south side of the city, was poured on November 15, 2007.
Sands Bethlehem opened on May 22, 2009. While the Las Vegas Sands owned several properties, this was the only casino in the United States to carry the Sands brand in its name, since the original Sands Hotel in Las Vegas was demolished and replaced with The Venetian, and the Sands Atlantic City was closed and demolished.
In the winter of 2009–2010, the casino was granted a license for table games which allowed the casino to expand to include 180 table games, including poker, blackjack and craps. Table games began operation on July 18, 2010. The Sands Hotel opened on May 27, 2011.
Sands Bethlehem was the only property in the company to end 2014 with a profit, doing better than Sands’ Vegas and Asia properties.
In November, 2016 Sands Bethlehem announced a planned expansion of the gaming floor to also include two additional restaurants.
In March 2018, it was announced that the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be sold to Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion. Wind Creek Hospitality had plans for a $190-million expansion to the property that would add a 300-room hotel and possibly an indoor water park. The sale was completed in May 2019, and the property was renamed as Wind Creek Bethlehem in July 2019.
The casino features over 3,000 slot machines, 200 table games, and several electronic table games.
Sands spent $26 million in 2009 to add 119 table games: 41 blackjack tables, four craps, four roulette, four three-card poker, fourteen mini-baccarat, four midi-baccarat, three pai gow poker, two pai gow tiles, one Big Six, two Let It Ride, two Caribbean stud, four Texas Hold’em Bonus, one Casino War, one sic bo and 12 poker tables. Later a 30-table poker room was built off of the main floor. Table games began operation on July 18, 2010.
- Buddy V’s
- Burgers and More by Emeril (BAM)
- Carlo’s Bake Shop (also known as Carlo’s Bakery)
- Emeril’s Chop House
- Emeril’s Fish House
- Steelworks Buffet & Grill
- The Market Gourmet Express Food Court, currently including:
- Casa Java
- Far East
- Mo Burger
- South Philly Steaks & Fries
- Villa Italian Kitchen
- Coil Lounge
- Vision Bar
The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem is an indoor shopping mall that connects the casino and the hotel. The outlet center, which opened on November 1, 2011 and is located under the Minsi Trail Bridge, comprises 133,000 sq ft (12,400 m2) of retail space and includes a food court, near the casino entrance.
Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival
The hotel hosts the yearly Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, held at the end of May/early June to benefit the culinary and hospitality program at Northampton Community College.
Wind Creek Event Center
The Wind Creek Event Center was designed by Howard Kulp Architects of Salisbury Township. The event center features 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2) of flexible multipurpose space, which accommodates meetings, conventions, and a variety of entertainment events. The venue can house 3,800 in a general admission setting and 2,500 in a reserved seating setting. Operated by Live Nation Mid-Atlantic, it was opened on May 16, 2012 as the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, with a concert by Incubus.Janet Jackson performed to a sold-out crowd at the venue in November 2017 for her State of the World Tour.Britney Spears performed at the venue in July 2018 on her Piece of Me tour.
Vision Bar, located next to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, is a popular nightclub.
- “PA Gaming Control Board Approval” (PDF). PA Gaming Control Board. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “PA Gaming Control Board Renews Slots License For Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem – Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board”. gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Radzievich, Jon Harris, Nicole. “Sands Bethlehem casino to be sold to Alabama Indian tribe for $1.3 billion”. Lehigh Valley Business Cycle. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- “Las Vegas Sands selling Bethlehem casino for $1.3 billion”. lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- Backover, Justin; Lewis, Will (January 15, 2019). “Sands Bethlehem expansion plans include 300-room hotel, possible water park”. Allentown, PA: WFMZ-TV. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Harris, Jon (May 31, 2019). “The deal is complete: Sands Bethlehem casino is now owned by Wind Creek Hospitality”. The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
- Gore, Leada (July 16, 2019). “Sands Casino renamed by Poarch Creek, now known as Wind Creek Bethlehem”. The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
- Darrow, Chuck (November 1, 2011). “Sands opens shopping mall”. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- “Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Fesitval”. Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival Website. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “Venue – Sands Bethlehem Event Center”. Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “Sands Event Center to expand, with new balcony, before 2nd anniversary | Howard Kulp Architects”. www.hkulparchitects.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Moser, John J. (February 12, 2012). “Sands Bethlehem Event Center: Here’s what it looks like, what’s ahead, and why it will succeed”. The Morning Call. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Olanoff, Lynn (May 16, 2012). “Sands Bethlehem Event Center holds grand opening before Incubus concert”. The Express-Times. Advance Publications. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Moser, John (November 10, 2017). “Janet Jackson seeks respect, wins with hits, at Sands Bethlehem Event Center”. The Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
But it also wasn’t a surprise when, after all that, Jackson told the sold-out crowd, “Get the point? Good, let’s dance,” and spent most of the rest of the 34-song show doing a litany of hits.
- Moser, John J. (July 18, 2018). “Britney Spears’ Vegas-style show borders on boring at Sands”. The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
Media related to Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem at Wikimedia Commons
Apple To Offer Gaming Subscriptions
Apple announced Apple Arcade in March at a celebrity-filled event that included Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. The event was focused on showing off its TV+ platform. The aim is to drive more recurring revenue from online services.
The outlet has already received early access to the program, which was offered to the tech giant’s employees for a one-month free trial, followed by just 49 cents per month until the end of early access.
The pricing information regarding Apple Arcade was discovered in one of the APIs used by the App Store app, revealing that the program will cost users $4.99 per month, including a one-month free trial. 9to5Mac points out that since there has not been a formal announcement, the pricing could change.
Apple’s Arcade will reportedly include LEGO, Annapurna Interactive, Cartoon Network, Sega and exclusive titles. While some Wall Street watchers think the company can become a serious contender in the gaming market, it has to spend considerably to get there. In fact, sources have said that Apple is spending several million dollars on each of the more than 100 games it will feature in Arcade.
And the company isn’t the only tech giant entering this market. Earlier this month it was revealed that Google is in the testing stage for a monthly subscription that would give Android users something similar. The service, called Play Pass, would offer users access to premium apps and games for a monthly fee of $4.99. The apps would be free of ads and in-app purchases.
In contrast with Apple Arcade, Play Pass will also offer non-entertainment software free of ads and in-app purchases. It’s not known if Google’s service will be available on Android TV.