Part of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive gambling expansion legislation in 2017 created the concept of satellite or “mini” casinos. More than three years later, the first of these hybrid gaming venues opened its doors to the betting public.
Owned and operated by The Cordish Companies, Live! Casino Pittsburgh staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony and soft launch on Nov. 17. Plans call for a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 24 ahead of the extended Thanksgiving Day weekend. This is the first mini casino to open its doors in the Keystone State. Mini casinos are to physical casinos like online casinos are to social casino platforms such as AEW Casino.
The total price tag of this casino gambling venue totaled $150 million. It sits 30 miles east of Pittsburgh as part of the Westmoreland Mall in Westmorland County. This location was a former Bon-Ton department store.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) originally approved up to 10 mini casino licenses as part of that 2017 gambling expansion bill. The first live facility covers more than 100,000 square feet of space.
There are no limits on the size of a mini casino. However, there are limits on the number of slot machines and table games it may house. The limits are set for up to 750 slots machines and 40 table games.
Another stipulation is that a mini casino must be located at least 40 miles from any existing land-based casino according to PGCB regulations.
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The opening also marks the debut of the Live! casino brand in Pennsylvania. In the eastern portion of the state, Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will cover that major metro area. Still under construction, this casino property is slated to open early next year.
There is also a Live! Casino location in the neighboring state of Maryland. It is located in Hanover near the Arundel Mills Mall.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh has struck up a partnership with FanDuel to operate a retail sportsbook. The entire gaming area covers two separate floors. The first floor is dedicated to casino games. There are dining and entertainment facilities covering the second-floor space.
This mini casino is looking to generate close to $190 million in revenue on an annual basis. This would result in $47.5 million in added tax revenue for the state. It is also estimated that the casino will employ more than 500 workers on a full-time basis.
Sean Sullivan is the general manager at Live! Casino Pittsburgh. Back in late October, he released the following statement to the press:
“We’re going Live! to the general public on November 24. Live! Casino is the latest world-class venue to be opened by The Cordish Companies. It’s going to up the ante on entertainment for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh region.”
The Cordish Companies is a Baltimore-based family-owned business with a global reach. This international developer specializes in large-scale revitalization products. A big part of that offering is Live! entertainment districts. Many of these districts are tied to gaming and hospitality projects. From PA, however, you can choose to signup for Hollywood Casino.
Two other popular casino gaming developments under the company umbrella are Seminole Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida.