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Alabama tribe buying Pennsylvania casino

Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, is buying Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Pennsylvania casino for $1.3 billion, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened in 2009 on the site of Bethlehem Steel’s former headquarters plant, transforming what was then the nation’s largest abandoned industrial complex into an $800 million destination that lured gamblers from New York and New Jersey. Sands later added a shopping mall, performing arts venue and 300-room hotel.

Wind Creek Hospitality’s properties include casinos in Alabama and the Caribbean, a greyhound track in Alabama and poker rooms in Florida.

Stephanie Bryan, tribal chair and CEO of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said the purchase will help “secure a long and prosperous future for our tribe.”

The deal requires approval from Pennsylvania gambling regulators, a process that could take a year.