ind Creek Bethlehem in Pennsylvania is back open 24 hours a day, starting Wednesday night, the casino announced.
The return to around-the-clock gambling follows an August in which its revenues dropped the most of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos compared to a year ago, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board figures released Wednesday.
The tribal casino reopened June 29 after shutting down March 15 due to the coronavirus, nine days after Pennsylvania reported its first case of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, the state had 146,990 confirmed cases with 7,903 deaths from the coronavirus illness. During the closure, ownership furloughed 84% of employees in May as the scope of the coronavirus pandemic came into focus.
“After several months of closing for 2 hours per night, we are confident we can still deep clean the property in the overnight hours by closing sections at a time instead of the entire casino floor,” Wind Creek spokeswoman Julia Corwin said in a statement Wednesday, as reported by Lehigh Valley Live. The property is following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and working closely with the Bethlehem Health Bureau to keep employees and guests safe, Corwin added.
State revenue figures show Wind Creek brought in $11.6 million less last month compared to August 2019, a drop of 25.8%. That’s 36% more than the next biggest loss, at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, according to the state.
“While business volumes are certainly lower, we continue to see more guests visiting the property each week,” stated Corwin, executive director of brand marketing for Wind Creek.
Wind Creek Hospitality, affiliated with the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians, bought the Bethlehem property from Las Vegas Sands Corp. in June 2019 for $1.4 billion and celebrated its grand opening last Oct. 10.