Live! Casino Pittsburgh Announces Table Game Dealer School, Construction on Satellite Resumes

Posted on: July 9, 2020, 02:32h. 

Last updated on: July 10, 2020, 12:01h.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh — one of four planned Category 4 satellite gaming venues in Pennsylvania — will need approximately 100 trained and licensed table game dealers when it opens sometime later this year.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh dealer school
Live! Casino Pittsburgh is teaming with a local community college in Pennsylvania to offer area students a chance to become casino table game dealers. (Image: Black Jack School)

Live! Casino Pittsburgh isn’t actually in the namesake city but is located inside the Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, Pa, about 30 miles southeast of the city. Live! is renovating a former Bon-Ton department store into a casino at a cost of $150 million.

To make sure an adequate number of candidates are available in the suburban area, Live! is sponsoring a casino dealer school with Westmoreland County Community College. Pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), students will be able to learn how to deal blackjack and other house-banked card games.

Potential students must first attend a dealer school information session.

The blackjack and other banked card games course is a five-week program, with classes running four hours a day, five days a week. Students who complete the course can move on to the two-week “Carnival Games” program, which the college says will consist of Criss Cross Poker, Spanish 21, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, and Let It Ride.

Upon competition, students will be afforded an opportunity to audition before PGCB regulators to obtain the appropriate licensing to apply for a job at Live! Casino Pittsburgh, or any other licensed casino in the state.

The coronavirus halted construction projects in Pennsylvania. But Live! spokesperson Carmen Gonzales told that “construction has resumed … and we are targeting a late 2020 opening.”

Hitting the Jackpot 

Pennsylvania only legalized slot machines in 2007 and table games in 2010. But the Commonwealth has quickly become one of the richest commercial gaming states in the US.

In 2019, Pennsylvania ranked No. 3, behind only Nevada and New Jersey, in terms of gross gaming revenue (GGR). The state’s 12 land-based casinos won more than $3.38 billion.

Pennsylvania lawmakers continue to expand gambling. A 2017 bill signed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) legalized online gambling, truck stop video gaming terminals (VGTs) that closely resemble slot machines, sports betting, and Category 4 satellites.

Satellite Progress

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is permitted to have 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The venue will be accompanied by several restaurants, an entertainment venue, and a sportsbook.

The Cordish Companies, parent to the Live! casino and hospitality brand, paid $40.1 million to win the Category 4 license during the state’s second satellite casino auction round. Penn National Gaming claimed the first auction with a winning $50.1 million bid.

Mount Airy won the third auction with a $21.18 million offer but later had the license revoked after the company failed to acquire funding for the project. Parx Casino won the fourth auction with an $8.11 million bid, and Penn claimed a second satellite in a subsequent round with a minimum $7.5 million proposal.

Penn National has halted construction on both of its satellites because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company responded to this week regarding the PGCB announcing another Category 4 auction planned for September.

“We will not be making a bid. We continue to be disappointed by a state that never seems to tire of ongoing gaming expansion despite the impact to existing operators and the jobs that they support,” said Eric Schippers, Penn’s senior vice president of public affairs and government relations.