MGM Resorts Reportedly Purchases Sands Bethlehem Casino

by Kyle Miller

Sands Bethlehem CasinoSands Bethlehem and MGM have reportedly reached an agreement for $1.3 billion.

Just a few days ago, it came to light that the Sands Bethlehem Casino of Pennsylvania was supposedly up for sale. This was surprising as the venue is a profitable one for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Soon after the announcement of the potential sale, it was rumored that MGM Resorts was the buyer. Now, it seems an agreement has been reached between the two companies.

More than a Billion Dollars

If the details are correct, the MGM Resorts Company will pay more than $1 billion for the ownership of the Sands casino. The two companies have reportedly completed a deal agreement which will see MGM pay $1.3 billion for the Pennsylvania property.

The casino continually does well when compared to the other eleven gaming venues of the state, number one in table gaming revenue and second when it comes to slots. Internal emails were reportedly sent to employees of the Sands Bethlehem from management that discussed a potential sale but that one was not imminent.

Yesterday, the Morning Call reported that the owner of the Sands had reached an agreement in principle with MGM Resorts to sell the Bethlehem casino for close to $1.3 billion. The process will more than likely take a few weeks to complete but now sources next to the Morning Call say the sale is imminent.

The Las Vegas Sands company continues to remain quiet on the matter. Ron Reese, a spokesman for the company stated that the Sands has no announcement to make at this time. Reps from MGM are also tight-lipped and not willing to deny or confirm reports of the deal agreement. MGM has continued to expand their reach across the United States particularly in the northeast region in the past few years. The company just launched the National Harbor venue in Maryland back in December and last summer acquired the remaining half of the Borgata Casino. The company will also launch MGM Springfield sometime next year.

With Sands Bethlehem, MGM Resorts would have yet another gaming venue to their name in the region, and one that is quite successful. For the month of February, the casino was able to earn just over $25 million in slot gaming revenues which is second only to the Parx Casino.

Online Gambling?

Many have questioned the potential sale of the Bethlehem casino based on Sheldon Adelson’s opposition to online gaming. Adelson is the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands who has long been opposed to online gaming in the United States. Online gambling legislation is in the works in Pennsylvania so many feel Adelson is getting out while he can.

Adelson would most certainly not want the Sands Casino to be involved in the online gaming industry but if the Bethlehem venue was one of the only ones not to take part, his revenues might have suffered. To avoid having to become involved in the industry, the casino is up for sell. Of course, this is purely speculation.

With MGM in the mix, it will now need to be considered if they are interested in offering online gaming. Legislators want to know that operators are on board and one senator has made this known to the public. In the Morning Call report, Senator Pat Browne stated that he would like to know where MGM stands on the matter if they purchase the casino as he would consider changing his opinion if a new player arrives on the scene with a different view.

We can assume that over the coming days or weeks more information will come to light as to if this deal is moving forward.