On March 6, 2007, Mayor John Callahan of Bethlehem stated that slot machines will be a vital component in the economy of Bethlehem in the next 2 years. According to Mayor Callahan, the regulations for the slots casino in Southside will be coming from a group of business representatives, residents in the area, public leaders, the human services providers from the Northampton County, City Council members and others that are interested in the slots project.
He plans to announce who the members are in the succeeding weeks. Callahan's statement came during his very first city address, since the announcement from state gaming regulators back in December that Bethlehem is one of the 11 casino towns in the state of Pennsylvania.
Callahan is also looking towards an income of around $7.8 million in casino host fees, which in turn will be used for the city's finances and to increase safety measures that will keep Bethlehem crime free.
Councilman Gordon Mowrer, also attended the city address and commented that he is in favor of putting up a task force so that the impact or the changes that the casino will bring will be mitigated. He further stated that the Mayor wants to involve everybody in decision-making regarding the slots issue.
The site of the slots casino is the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, which closed down in March 1998 and caused a 10% drop in the city's revenues. He added that the slots casino will give the economic status of Bethlehem a boost .