There may be no sports to bet on, but Wind Creek Bethlehem’s officially applied to the state for approval to operate a full sportsbook at its city casino as well as offer mobile and internet betting in Pennsylvania.
Back in January, Wind Creek’s parent company announced it was diving into the sports betting world by inking a deal with Betfred to open a sportsbook for its Pennsylvania gamblers.
But Wind Creek Hospitality’s remained tight lipped about its plans outside of a short news release announcing the partnership.
Wind Creek, which has been closed since March 15, filed an application with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Wednesday seeking a sports wagering certificate. It marks the casino’s first official step towards getting into the sports wagering game, which was legalized in the state as part of a 2017 gambling expansion.
The filing release by the board doesn’t provide many details because it includes a request to keep the hiring plans, financial projections and other info confidential.
The request will be considered by the gaming board at a future meeting.
The Lehigh Valley’s first sportsbook opened for a test period March 2 at The Downs at Lehigh Valley. Mohegan Sun, which operates the facility off Airport Road in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, received gaming control board approval in December to offer sports wagering there.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is unclear when Pennsylvania’s casinos will reopen and when America’s sports will return to normal operations.
When it can reopen, Wind Creek says it is considering offering gambling reservations so customers don’t have to wait in line and operating under capacity.
The gaming board said casinos brought in $153 million from gambling and fantasy sports betting in March, down 52% from $316 million from the same month a year ago.
Wind Creek Bethlehem was hardest hit, dropping 71%. The casino’s online slot machine games and table games including poker remain active, and revenue crept upward to $24 million from $19.5 million in February.
Wind Creek had pledged to continue paying its employees through May 31 and made its first $2.5 million host fee payment to the city of Bethlehem as scheduled last month.
Wind Creek Hospitality bought the Southside casino from Las Vegas Sands Corp. in May 2019 for $1.4 billion. The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened May 22, 2009.
Sara K. Satullo may be reached at email@example.com.
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