Sands Casino Bus

But when he did that last week, nothing happened. The machine he counted on to give him the best odds of keeping his money no longer accepted the free promotional play card Sands gives away to New York bus riders. Players say Sands cracked down on the practice a day after The Morning Call revealed in a March 30 investigation how more than 50 buses a day from the Asian neighborhoods of Flushing, Chinatown and Brooklyn had spawned an underground market in which free-play cards were being routinely sold and used in the video poker machines.

Those video poker machines had become the favorite of players, some of whom would buy dozens of free-play cards a day at a discount from mostly Asian bus riders in hopes of using the odds-friendly machines to take money from the casino.

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Now, by cutting off the video poker machines to free-play money, the casino has altered that underground market that many bus riders were using to live. Oh, well, nothing lasts forever. Almost since table games opened inSands has had the busiest motor coach business of any casino in Pennsylvania.

That happened largely because it was drawing more than 3, riders a day from the Asian neighborhoods of New York. That deal had become so popular that it created an underground market in which many riders sell their casino cards moments after stepping off the bus in the Sands garage.

Some are low-income or even homeless people who ride every day, and sometimes twice a day, to raise money to live.

After selling the cards, they often spend the day in south Bethlehem, walking along the Greenway, sitting by the river or strolling along Lehigh University 's stately campus to kill time until their bus returns to New York. Others buy the cards at a discount, sometimes by the dozens, hoping to shift the gambling odds in their favor.

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What made the deal particularly good was that Sands' video poker machines were considered slot machines, and accepted the free-play money — until last week. The standard slot machine gives the casino a 10 percent advantage, which means that statistically, it returns to the player roughly 90 percent of everything he puts in. But video poker machines are the lone slot machines on which a skilled player can cut the house odds to just 2 Sands Casino Bus.

Therefore, by getting free-play money at an percent discount, a skilled player could actually make a modest living on the machines. That ability to make money kept the resale value of the cards high. Without it, the resale value dropped 25 percent overnight. State Gaming Control Board spokesman Richard McGarvey said casinos have the freedom to "open a machine" to change its setting, so long as they notify the gaming board. However, McGarvey would not say if Sands had made such a request with its poker machines because that is a proprietary matter the gaming board does not make public.

It makes it too easy to beat the house. Yuh-Line Niou, chief of staff for Flushing, N.

Kim has tried to discourage the hundreds of Asian bus riders from his district who travel to Bethlehem every day to sell their casino cards, but he also knows some of them have come to rely on it. The cards are worth less? No one likes that they've fallen into this vicious cycle, but at the same time, I worry about them if it's taken away. After riding the bus for more than a year, and selling cards for several months, Ron is convinced the buses will remain full and Niou need not worry.

Things have to cool down a little first. Jillian Massey, a girl with 25, gifts. Hundreds of Asians sell their Sands Bethlehem casino free-play cards moments after stepping off the bus from New York -- a phenomenon that has brought cultural change to the Valley.

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  1. Visit the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, the premiere choice of Pennsylvania hotels, resorts & casinos, featuring: Round Trip Excursion tickets will be available in The New York Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) at the New Jersey Transit Ticket Windows. One-way tickets from Sands.:
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    Casino bus trips to Atlantic City, Sands Casino Bethlehem PA and Mt Airy Casino Resort have never been this easy! Plan and book your trip with Martz today! Extended Stay America - Allentown - Bethlehem, Bethlehem: "How far is sands casino? Is there a shuttle bus" | Check out answers, plus reviews and 27 candid photos Ranked #2 of 2 specialty lodging in Bethlehem and rated 3 of 5 at TripAdvisor. Sands Casino: NEVER AGAIN-DIRTY-FULL OF PUSHY RUDE PEOPLE OFF OF BUSES FROM NEW YORK - See traveler reviews, 47 candid photos, and great deals for Bethlehem, PA, at TripAdvisor.

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Very smoky, even in non smoking areas due to lack of ventilation. I'm not a table player, so am rating only my experience with slots. Closer than AC Okay selection of slots for not being AC Small enough to find your way arround easily Weekly slot comps, although small, if you're a "regular" Food court if you don't want complete dinner Free parking Cons: TONS of bus people, mosly Asian- their manners are different than the norm- they crowd you at the machines, gather in large groups at machines, picnic at the machines with bags of food brought from home.

If you're lucky enough to get on one of the "All Star Poker" slots be prepared for them to gang up on you, sit beside you, hang over yor shoulder, talk about you, and scrutinize your every move. They watch how many credits you have left and when your bank gets low they practically push you off the machine. Somehow they get stacks of "Welcome Friend" cards, and it's not unusual to see the "bus regulars" sit and insert stacks of players's cards into the machine for comps, and take notes on their cell phones while they play.

They must have a system where one person plays for the whole town, then divide up the pot at the end, as one group will be hours and hours at a machine.

They smoke like fiends- literally smoke pours out of their eyeballs and ears. If you play anything other than the spin poker slots you'll play in peace. Also they "cash out" at every win, hence using up all the paper tickets in the machine, yet stay and play-stacks of tickets to go with their stacks of player cards.

Bathrooms are usually clean and well attended, but sometimes the bus people do take stacks and stacks of paper towels and put them into their bags, like grocery shopping. Like any casino, it's fun when you win, but not if you lose. Macines do seem tight there- if you break even, consider yourself a winner. Most of the most popular slots are hard to get on, as the wait gets competetive- management should increase the number of these machines.

A nice casino, very easy to drive to, plenty of parking, friendly but active environment. Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips. Review of Sands Casino. Ranked 3 of 44 things to do in Bethlehem. Reviewed March 3, Ask wolfnater about Sands Casino. Write a Review Reviews 1, Show reviews that mention. All reviews nice casino food court carnegie deli chop house outlet stores penny slots non smoking poker room great restaurants free drinks saturday night event center burgers concert venue lehigh valley bethlehem steel emeril.

Review tags are currently only available for English language reviews. Read reviews in English Go back. Reviewed February 27, People rude and dirty. Ask Gary S about Sands Casino. Reviewed February 25, Reviewed February 24, Ask LindaSue37 about Sands Casino.

Hellertown, Pennsylvania, United States. Reviewed February 21, Ask JudgeJoe about Sands Casino. Travelers who viewed Sands Casino also viewed. All things to do in Bethlehem Those video poker machines had become the favorite of players, some of whom would buy dozens of free-play cards a day at a discount from mostly Asian bus riders in hopes of using the odds-friendly machines to take money from the casino. Now, by cutting off the video poker machines to free-play money, the casino has altered that underground market that many bus riders were using to live.

Oh, well, nothing lasts forever. Almost since table games opened in , Sands has had the busiest motor coach business of any casino in Pennsylvania. That happened largely because it was drawing more than 3, riders a day from the Asian neighborhoods of New York.

That deal had become so popular that it created an underground market in which many riders sell their casino cards moments after stepping off the bus in the Sands garage. Some are low-income or even homeless people who ride every day, and sometimes twice a day, to raise money to live. After selling the cards, they often spend the day in south Bethlehem, walking along the Greenway, sitting by the river or strolling along Lehigh University 's stately campus to kill time until their bus returns to New York.

Others buy the cards at a discount, sometimes by the dozens, hoping to shift the gambling odds in their favor. What made the deal particularly good was that Sands' video poker machines were considered slot machines, and accepted the free-play money — until last week.

The standard slot machine gives the casino a 10 percent advantage, which means that statistically, it returns to the player roughly 90 percent of everything he puts in. But video poker machines are the lone slot machines on which a skilled player can cut the house odds to just 2 percent. Therefore, by getting free-play money at an percent discount, a skilled player could actually make a modest living on the machines.

That ability to make money kept the resale value of the cards high.

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