During a tour of Pennsylvania casinos, Credit-Suisse gaming analyst Joel Simkins called the Las Vegas Sands Corp. owned Sands Bethlehem a “mini Macau.”
The term seemed apropos.
Las Vegas Sands is the dominant U.S.-based gaming operator in Macau with three resorts and several others in various stages of development.
So it’s not surprising the casino operator would target New York City’s Chinese population and market the Sands Bethlehem to that populous customer base.
The property, about a 90-minute drive from New York City, recently opened a new 300-room hotel and is building an outlet mall. Sands Bethlehem was built on the site of the historic Bethlehem Steel Mill.
Simkins noted Sands Bethlehem is operating roughly 50 buses a day from New York City’s Chinatown and other locations.
“While Sands Bethlehem is a relatively small contributor to the Las Vegas Sands story, we believe this asset is heading in the right direction as table games have driven improved results,” Simkins said.
He noted the amount of Asian business at the property and observed players three-deep at baccarat and Pai Gow tables.
“Not bad for mid-day on a Thursday,” Simkins said.
He also told investors he met celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse at Sands Bethlehem. Lagasse operates a restaurant at the property.
“(The meeting) added some ‘Bam!’ to our day,” Simkins said.