Lehigh Valley

Standard investigation to occur as Sands Casino set to be sold

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will launch a change of control investigation following the announcement of sale for the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

The buyer, Wind Creek Hospitality, is an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.

GCB Spokesman Richard McGarvey says it's a standard investigation that could take up to a year to complete.

"So not only the individuals involved to make sure they don't have criminal backgrounds, those type of things, but also the companies involved to see where the money is coming from and how the transactions are gonna actually take place," McGarvey said in a phone interview. 

The tribe currently owns smaller gaming facilities in Alabama, Aruba and Curacao, as well as a greyhound track.

McGarvey says despite not paying taxes on some of those properties, the tribe will have to pay state and local taxes in regard to the Bethlehem property.

In regard to the sale, Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson says the company is pleased to have built a strong foundation that can be the basis for the property's future success.

And delivering on its "promise of bringing thousands of good paying jobs, generating significant economic impact and revitalizing a site of sentimental and historical importance."

Sands Bethlehem President Brian Carr says the pending sale will not impact the work of Sands employees and that he feels the transition will be seamless.

Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair and CEO of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians says:

"We look forward to working with our new team members and the community to cement Wind Creek Bethlehem's position as the premier entertainment destination in the northeast.  We are proud of our ability to become valued partners with communities surrounding our Wind Creek Hospitality properties."

The Sands was opened in 2009 and later added a shopping mall, hotel and entertainment venue at a total cost of more than $800 million.

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