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How Bethlehem, school district win from a Sands sale

Sands Casino Resort came into the city eight years ago as an unlikely hero, scooping up scorched Bethlehem Steel land and turning it into a moneymaker for the old industrial town.

The casino brought jobs, wage taxes, host fees, amusement taxes and cash-carrying patrons who spread a bit of wealth to the businesses in and around Bethlehem.

But now, Bethlehem also stands to gain a big payday if that hero rides off into the sunset.

Sands has reached a deal in principle with MGM Resorts International to sell for about $1.3 billion within six months, sources have told The Morning Call.

And Pennsylvania charges a 2 percent deed transfer tax, which the state would split with Bethlehem and the Bethlehem Area School District.

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