Live! Casino Pittsburgh Opening November 24, First Pennsylvania Satellite

Posted on: October 20, 2020, 03:02h. 

Last updated on: October 20, 2020, 03:41h.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh, a satellite casino in Pennsylvania featuring 750 slot machines and 30 table games, will open its doors on November 24 at 6:00 am ET.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Pennsylvania satellite
The Live! Casino Pittsburgh floor is coming together ahead of its November 24 opening. (Image: Live! Casino Pittsburgh)

The Cordish Companies won the Category 4 satellite license during the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s second auction round, held in January of 2018. The Baltimore-based hospitality and gaming firm outbid its competitors with a $40.1 million offer.

A little more than 1,000 days later, Cordish says its Live! Casino Pittsburgh — which is located inside the Westmoreland Mall in what was formerly a Bon-Ton department store — will soon be ready to welcome guests.

The satellite venue is roughly 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. Cordish has spent $150 million redeveloping the two-story mall anchor area.

Live! Pittsburgh has 100,000 square feet of gaming, dining, and entertainment space. Along with the slots and table games, Live! has partnered with FanDuel to build a 455-seat sportsbook equipped with a 45-foot high LED video screen.

Coronavirus Preparations

Opening amid a pandemic certainly isn’t what Cordish envisioned for Live! Casino Pittsburgh when it forked over $40.1 million to the state. The sum was simply for the development and gaming rights in Westmoreland. But the company says it’ll make it work.

Live! Casino is going to up the ante on entertainment for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh region,” said Live! Casino Pittsburgh General Manager Sean Sullivan.

The Westmoreland casino will follow the same COVID-19 safety measures that have been implanted at Cordish’s Live! Casino Maryland.

Live!’s COVID-19 response strategy is titled, “Play It Safe.” Employees and guests will have their body temperatures screened prior to entry, masks are required for all people inside the casino, and physical distancing will be observed.

“We’ve gone through extraordinary measures to meet and exceed the state’s COVID-19 guidelines to ensure all of our guests have fun and feel safe,” Sullivan added.

First Satellite

Pennsylvania legalized as many as 10 Category 4 satellite casinos through the state’s far-reaching expansion of gambling. The law, passed in October of 2017, allowed the Commonwealth’s 10 Category 1, 2, and 3 license holders (racino, standalone, and resort casinos) to bid on the mini-casino permits.

Though 10 were approved, only five successful auction rounds have been completed.

Penn National Gaming, owner and operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, won two of the auctions. The company is under construction on satellite casinos in York and Morgantown.

Greenwood Gaming, parent company of Parx Casino near Philadelphia, is building its Category 4 property in Shippensburg. And last month, Penn State alum Ira Lubert secured the rights to a satellite casino in Centre County, home to the university.

After bidding stalled for the satellites in 2019, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board opened up the process to principal investors in one of the state’s Category 1, 2, and 3 casinos. Lubert holds a three percent ownership stake in Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Lubert and partners previously owned the Valley Forge Casino Resort. They sold the property to Boyd Gaming for $280.5 million in late 2017.