A New York-based private equity group says it’s preparing to make an offer to buy the Sands Bethlehem casino in Pennsylvania.
On Friday, Allentown-based independent television channel WFMZ-TV reported that New York City private investment group Keating & Associates was preparing an offer for Sands Bethlehem, the Las Vegas Sands property that is the state’s perennial top table game earner and its number-two slots performer.
Keating’s chief strategist Alex Fredericks told the station that “we suspect in the next 30 days we’ll tender a very serious offer.” Fredericks said the portfolio of his “relatively new” group did not currently contain any casino properties.
Regardless, Keating appears smitten with the US casino industry, and Fredericks claimed that Keating was trying to establish an east coast casino beachhead before expanding to Las Vegas and Miami (where casinos currently aren’t legal, but what the hey-hey).
Sands Bethlehem has been on the block for a while now, with a $1.3b bid by rival MGM Resorts falling through this spring. It’s unclear whether Keating has this kind of financing at its disposal, and not everyone is convinced Keating’s Bethlehem bid is serious. Sands Bethlehem reps have yet to comment on the report.
Keating’s name recently surfaced in media reports claiming that the group had made a $225m bid to acquire the mothballed Revel/TEN casino in Atlantic City. That report has been denied by Revel/TEN’s owner, Florida developer Glenn Straub, who also denied similar reports about a Colorado-based firm reaching a deal for the casino.
Fredericks told WFMZ that Keating was preparing to finalize its Revel offer, and insisted that Keating’s co-chairman Jeff Keating had indeed met with Straub, whose denials were explained away as a “business ploy.”
SANDS SETS TABLE REVENUE RECORD IN SEPTEMBER
Meanwhile, Sands Bethlehem continues to dominate the monthly table game revenue charts. Figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board showed Sands well out in front with nearly $22.7m in table revenue in September, a year-on-year improvement of nearly 17% and a new personal best for the property, eclipsing the $21.9m the venue reported in April.
Parx Casino in Philadelphia retained its traditional table bridesmaid role, generating just over $15m (+6.8%), while SugarHouse ranked third with $9.4m (+7.4%). All told, only two of the state’s 12 casinos were in negative table territory for the month, and the statewide total gained 9.9% to $75.6m.
Parx is traditionally the state’s combined slots and table revenue king, but Sands Bethlehem’s record table run allowed it to eclipse Parx in September, albeit by the narrowest of margins. Sands Bethlehem earned a combined $47.5m in September, $59k higher than Parx.