Casino In Bethlehem
Pennsylvania Gaming Board Approves Sands Bethworks Casino In Bethlehem
December 20, 2006, the Gaming Board of Pennsylvania approved a gambling license for the Sands Bethworks Gaming finally allowing them to construct a casino at the site of Bethlehem Steel. With the gaming license, Sands will now build their planned casino, which will also feature a movie theater, boutiques and a hotel establishment.
The casino has a permit for slot machines, but it still does not permit card games like blackjack or poker on the premises. The executive director for community and regional affairs, Dale Kochard, commented that the other projects, aside from the casino, are a media and arts center by ArtQuest and a museum that will showcase Industrial History that will be supported by the Smithsonian Institute. A spokesman for Lehigh said that they are supportive.
Some students in the area, like Cara Diorio, the Student Senate President for 2007, commented that Lehigh was put into a hard bargaining position. She said that the casino decision is good for Bethlehem and Lehigh is in Bethlehem, so they have to support that decision.
Some of the effects or the problems that could result from the casino are a rise in the crime rate, an increase in the price of rent and gambling addiction. Kochard, when asked about the possibility of students from Lehigh playing the slots, said that it is a possibility, but he said that they needed to be 21 years old to get inside the casino and they are certain that the officials of the casino will impose some kind of restrictions on the place.
He also acknowledges that some people can develop gambling problems, but they will undertake actions to help those people. Bethlehem could get as much as $10 million along with Allentown.