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Is Sands Bethlehem The Potential TEN Buyer’s Sloppy Seconds?

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The rumors of a Sands Bethlehem sale are back. Except this time the buyer is not MGM Resorts International. The rumored buyer is a name from the news though. The group is Keating and Associates, the firm that just last month claimed it was trying to buy the former Revel property in Atlantic City, NJ.

Sands Bethlehem claims Keating rumor is false

Like with its Revel proposal, Keating is only in the very beginning steps of possibly purchasing the Pennsylvania casino. Per Lehigh Valley Live, Keating and Associates is in the process of quickly evaluating the property. Once they finish an appraisal, they hope to quickly issue a letter of intent to buy to Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

However, Sands representatives told the publication that not only has the company not spoken with the financial firm, they have not even heard of them.

This is a familiar tune to those familiar with the Revel sale rumors. Current owner Glenn Straub stated he had no communication with Keating. However, Straub has a history of contradicting public statements about both himself and his casino resort.

Moreover, Sands Bethlehem is know for being tight-lipped about sales. During the many weeks where people presumed the MGM deal all but done, Sands never once confirmed the rumor. Not even after emails to the employees about the sale leaked to the press.

What is Keating and Associates and why do they want a casino?

This is the second major East Coast casino in a matter of weeks Keating and Associates claim to be interested in buying. As Keating reps tell it, this is simply a matter of knowing a good investment when they see one.

This is what Keating representative Jeffery Keating had to say about Sand Bethlehem:

“As a company, we would be honored to have a jewel of a property like the Sands in Bethlehem within our portfolio, which is why we have initiated our evaluation process.”

Compare that to his statement about the Revel property:

“There are a lot of exciting things happening inside of the city limits that we hope to be a part of beyond the campus of the Revel. We have never seen Atlantic City as anything other than a jewel that deserves the right setting.”

Before you assume Keating is out accumulating a treasure chest of casino “jewels”, keep in mind Sands could be the back-up plan. Shortly after news broke about the firm trying to acquire the property now known as TEN, another Denver-based company produced documentation of its intent to buy the property.

Perhaps then, Sands is Plan B for Keating and Associates. That still does not answer the question of why this company is getting in the casino business though.

It is interesting to note both casinos Keating has its eyes on are in states where either online gambling is already legal or the state is on the precipice of allowing online gambling. Is this just a company wanting into the casino market? Or is this a group making a play to get in on online gambling at the ground floor?

About

Jessica Welman is the managing editor of PlayPennsylvania. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com.