Sands Casino to Begin $90 Million Expansion in Pennsylvania

by Jim Hall

The Sands Casino of Bethlehem has just announced a $90 million gaming expansion.

It is not uncommon for a gaming venue in the United States to make changes or revamp their offerings. Casinos often spend thousands of dollars to make changes in the hopes that players will continue to find the venue exciting and interesting. However, what is not common is when a gaming venue decides to spend tens of millions of dollars on expanding their offerings. While it does happen, it is not every day that you hear of a gaming venue set to spend a huge chunk of change on gaming expansions.

Who is Ready to Expand?

Sands Casino of BethlehemThe latest gaming venue to announce an expansion is the Sands Bethlehem of Pennsylvania. The casino resort has announced plans to spend $90 million to expand their offerings to guests. The casino must first gain regulatory approval, but once approved, the construction process should begin sometime during the first quarter of 2017. Plans will include adding a new gaming floor plus 1,000+ gaming seats, restaurant space, restrooms and back of house facilities.

The actual expansion will consist of 59,200 additional square feet and a gross floor area that covers close to 100,000 square feet. Sands Bethlehem President Mark Juliano commented on the plans by stating that the venue is proud to be able to continue with their commitment towards reinvesting in the property by making the addition. With the company’s understanding of gaming, as well as entertainment dining, Juliano believes the Sands can continue to be a premiere gaming and entertainment destination in the Northeast.

Minor Changes Already

The casino has already seen minor changes at the resort this year with two dining establishments opening this past spring. Emeril’s Fish House and Buddy V’s Ristorante have both become popular eateries at the venue while the Infusion lounge was removed to create a stadium style table gaming experience via electronic gaming. The guest rooms of the hotel were also renovated along with the Chairman’s Lounge & Suites of the 15th floor.

The new expansion should take place within a parking lot of the gaming venue on the north side. The parking lot will become smaller to be used for actual parking but additional parking will be made available on site as well as using a parking lot located near the Hoover Mason Trestle.

For now, the gaming venue must wait until the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provides approval before the construction can begin. The venue is actually asking for permission to have more than 250 table games since that number is a maximum cap set by state law. The board has expected a venue to ask for permission to expand beyond the cap and always felt that it would be the Sands venue that would be the first to do so. It will be interesting to see if approval is given and just how many games the venue actually adds when the construction phase is over.

Thank You New Jersey

This project is actually coming about due to the state of New Jersey rejecting a referendum on the November 8th ballot to approve a casino expansion in north Jersey. Voters overwhelming chose NO on the ballot and now gaming will not expand in the state. Because of the outcome of the vote, the Sands felt like it would be profitable to make the changes now that competition would not be moving in to this region of the neighboring state. The announcement for the project was not made until the vote outcome was made in New Jersey.