No one likes the middle seat. It doesn’t matter if it’s on an airplane, in the backseat of car, or at the slots. Wind Creek Casino is adapting to customers’ desire for personal space and the larger size of slot machines.
The casino in Bethlehem got Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s approval last week to reduce the number of slot machines.
Wind Creek to remove some slot machines
Wind Creek Casino has 2,973 slots and plans to remove 983 existing machines. The casino is in the process of bringing in 328 new slots making the net number of slots removed 655. Wind Creek plans to invest $7 million to purchase new slot machines. The slots that will be ousted are older, underused, underperforming machines.
Reps for Wind Creek also pointed to occupancy rates of the slots for reasons for reductions. Even on Friday and Saturday, the busiest days of the week, occupancy was just below 50% at the slots.
The size of slot machines has significantly increased.
Size of slot machine in 2010:
- Height: 56 inches
- Width: 22.5 inches
- Depth: 21.5 inches
Size of slot machine in 2021
- Height: 75 inches
- Width: 27 inches
- Depth: 27 inches
Wind Creek Casino PA property upgrades
Wind Creek is working on a number of upgrades across the property.
- Hotel Tower 2: Is currently being built with an investment of over $155 million. (Target date end of 2022.)
- Jackpot Lighting: Recently completed ($1 million)
- New carpet coming soon ($3.6 million)
- A new $2 million poker room at Wind Creek Casino will have 6 additional tables and a satellite cage. (Target date: Nov. 2022.)
Reps rip PA skill games
Some Penn National casinos in Pennsylvania along with Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia have removed a number of slot machines. Wind Creek Casino said the main reason for the removal was to create a guest-friendly layout.
However, reps for Wind Creek did say that the proliferation of unlicensed and unrelated “skill games” was also one of the reasons.
Michael Magazzu, executive director of compliance and risk management for Wind Creek Casino, said:
“I know why the term skill games is used but we believe that to be a misnomer. We do see these so-called skill games as a threat to our business and think they are a threat to the industry and a threat to the Commonwealth. We don’t believe the same type of gaming integrity exists with these games.”
Lynne Kaufman with Cooper Levenson serves as legal counsel to Wind Creek Hospitality. She added:
“We were hoping some of the recent court decisions went the other way. In my opinion, people who think it doesn’t impact the regulated casinos are the people who say they never disagree with their spouse. It’s obvious and a concern.”