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Potential suitor for the sale of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem

It appears that there may be a potential suitor for the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Las Vegas Sands Corp. admitted the Bethlehem casino would be available for sale to the right buyer because it does not fit in with their vision for mega-casino and resort properties.

The potential buyer, Tropicana Entertainment Inc., is known to be on a buying spree and recently purchased the Lumiere Place Hotel and Casino, a fancy resort on the St. Louis riverfront, in a fire sale. After being brought out of bankruptcy in 2010 by billionaire Carl Ichan, the Tropicana is looking for discounted properties to expand its brand name.

While talks concerning the rumored sale was not confirmed by either company, the potential sale has caused some trepidation locally. City officials hope that any new owner will invest the same amount of time and money into PA's most successful casino.

The Sands has spent over $800 million on the Bethlehem Casino Resort; the most invested in any Pennsylvania casino. They employ over 3,000 people, pay $20 million in fees to Lehigh Valley communities ($9.5 million directly to Bethlehem) and is the biggest contributor in the special taxing district that funds the infrastructure improvements to the Bethlehem Steel Plant. The taxing authority has collected $28 million from the Sands, so far.

In addition, analysts feel that a company looking for bargain investments would hurt the casino at the time when it will be facing stiff competition from New York city, which expects to have it owns casinos opening their doors by 2023.

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