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Sands reportedly seeking as much as $1 billion for casino in Bethlehem

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:15:26 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2013 04:51:18 AM CST

Sands Casino to be sold?

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Are they bluffing or is the Sands Casino looking to sell?

Bloomberg reports the Las Vegas Sands is thinking about cashing in if the buyer has $1 billion.

People we spoke with say the news is kind of a shock, but they caution that it is only a report.  They haven't heard of any talk of an actual sale.

“We are at the point right now where we don't know how true it is," said Don Cunningham, president and CEO for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.  "However, Bloomberg is usually a pretty reliable business news source so we would obviously take that seriously.”

If the Las Vegas Sands is ready to fold here in Bethlehem, the asking price for the casino is huge.

According to the Bloomberg report, the asking price is $1 billion.

Before a new owner can cash in on one of the state's top casinos, they will need approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission.

“Documentation is filed, an investigation has to be done of new owners coming in," said Richard McGarvey, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission.
"The board would have to approve that. Nothing of that nature at this point has come before the board.”

We've tried to speak with representatives of Las Vegas Sands, the Bethlehem Sands Casino, and all people are playing their cards close to the vest.

Some fear if a sale is in the works, we may not hear anything until it is almost final.

“They're not going to be in the position obviously to say anything to anyone because they are a publicly traded company and they can't say anything that is going to alter their stock prices,” said Cunningham.

“Again I just need to stress we don't have anything of that nature before the board from the Sands," repeated McGarvey.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission spokesperson says all sales must be approved by the board.

He also told us if they do get an application it could take a few weeks or several months to approve the sale.