onstruction is expected to start in the next several weeks, and signals what gaming analysts say could be a wave of new hotels throughout the region as Pennsylvania casino operators target the more affluent, overnight customer whom tables games attract.
"We have undertaken efforts which will result in construction resuming on the hotel portion of the development in the very near future," Sheldon G. Adelson, Las Vegas Sands Corp. chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "With the addition of table games, Sands Bethlehem will become the most complete and convenient gaming destination for millions of New York City and northern New Jersey residents and, at the same time, enhance the profitability of the property starting in the foreseeable future."
Analyst Andrew Zarnett of Deutsche Bank AG in New York said this will likely be the start of what is to come. "With the beginning of table games in Pennsylvania, we believe operators will restart plans to build hotels and other amenities as the potential for strong returns among table players will soon exist."
The Bethlehem casino, in the Lehigh Valley about 60 miles from Philadelphia, draws primarily locals and gamblers from North Jersey and New York along the I-78 corridor. Analysts have referred to it as akin to a New Jersey casino that happens to be in Pennsylvania. New York and New Jersey make up 45 % of Atlantic City's gambling clientele.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. also owns the Venetian and the Palazzo casino resorts on the Vegas Strip, as well as two casinos in Macau. The company plans to open its us$ 5.5 billion Singapore casino and resort on April 27 after months of delays, the company said last week.