Wind Creek Bethlehem slot reduction request approved by PGCB

  • The PGCB has approved Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino’s request to reduce its slot portfolio.
  • Wind Creek asked the council to reduce its total number of slots from 2,973 to 2,318.
  • The board also issued three fines at Wednesday’s meeting while approving the Hollywood Casino at the Meadows license extension.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday approved Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino’s request to reduce the number of its approved slot machines as part of its post-COCID-19 adjustment.

Wind Creek Bethlehem requested to reduce the number of slots allowed from 2,973 to 2,318. This includes removing the existing 983 slots and adding 328 new ones or a total net reduction of 655 which was made to upgrade the casino portfolio with brands that are more popular with customers.

Director of gaming operations Rebecca Gorgas told the board that less than half of Wind Creek’s slots are typically in play at any given time and only 70% are used during peak hours.

Up to 5,000 locations

Under Pennsylvania law of 2004, casinos like Wind Creek are allowed to have up to 5,000 slot machines. However, none have come close to having the maximum number in their properties due to the economic law of supply and demand. Any material changes to the casino’s gaming floor must be approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The only exception to this came during the pandemic when casinos were forced to reduce their number of slot machines due to social distancing protocols. When the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, many casinos across the state realized they could generate so much revenue even with a smaller volume. With competitors already shrinking their slot portfolio, Wind Creek followed suit.

Other Matters Addressed by the Board

Along with approving Wind Creek, the PGCB also issued three fines on Wednesday. Live! Pittsburgh, in the Westmoreland Country, was fined $7,500 for giving a cash advance to a self-excluded problematic gambler. Meanwhile, the Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant inside the Parx Casino was penalized $17,500 for overserving alcohol to intoxicated patrons on multiple occasions. Finally, TDN Money Systems Inc. was fined $7,500 for failing to promptly file a report reflecting the change in ownership.

Additionally, the council added six names to the involuntary exclusion list that prohibits individuals from entering gambling halls in the state. The PGCB also voted to approve the five-year license extension of Hollywood Casino at the Meadows, which is praised for its signs addressing the issue of leaving minors unattended inside casinos.

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