Live! Casino Pittsburgh Set to Open Late 2020, Venue is 30 Miles from Steel City

Posted on: August 17, 2020, 01:54h. 

Last updated on: August 17, 2020, 02:07h.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is tracking to become the first satellite casino to open in Pennsylvania.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Cordish
What was once a shopping mall department store is set to become the Live! Casino Pittsburgh by year’s end. (Image: Nate Smallwood/Tribune-Review)

The Cordish Companies, the developer and owner of the “mini casino” project in Westmoreland County, some 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, recently confirmed to that the venue will welcome its first guests before the end of the year.

Last month, Carmen Gonzales, executive director of communications for Live!, told us that construction had resumed on the Westmoreland casino, and the company is “targeting a late 2020 opening.” Live! Casino Pittsburgh PR Manager Doug Haniford doubled down on that timeline this week.

Due to the many unknowns that the COVID pandemic can create, we have not yet announced an official grand opening date,” Haniford told PennLive. “However, we are targeting to be open before the end of the year.”

The satellite casino is permitted to have up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The venue will also feature a 445-seat sportsbook and sports bar with a 45-foot high LED screen. That’s something that should appeal to Steelers fans, as they might be barred from attending games at Heinz Field.

Stadium Openings

Live! is taking an atypical approach to Pennsylvania’s gaming market. Cordish, based in Maryland, is one of the Keystone State’s 13 full-scale casino license holders. But it has yet to welcome its first gambler in Pennsylvania.

Stadium Casino LLC’s Category 2 casino, Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia has been in the works since the fall of 2014. The casino destination is set to include 2,200 slot machines and more than 150 table games, a sportsbook, 200-room hotel, and dining and entertainment venues.

Live! Philadelphia is being constructed in the city’s Stadium District adjacent to the homes of the NFL Eagles, NBA 76ers, and NHL Flyers. The casino hotel is to debut in 2021.

Live! has two brick-and-mortar casinos set to open over the next year. But in the interim, the gaming operator is getting its online operations underway. Gaming software maker GAN has been contracted by Cordish to provide iGaming services for its Pennsylvania properties.

Live! has also partnered with FanDuel for its sports betting businesses. The sportsbook will facilitate sports wagers in-person and in online sports for Cordish.

Satellite Scope

Pennsylvania authorized as many as 10 Category 4 satellite casino licenses through its 2017 gaming expansion bill. Stadium Casino LLC won the second auction round with a $40.1 million bid.

The company picked Hempfield Township in Westmoreland, as that municipality had not opted out of being considered, and Cordish execs found the region attractive. Live! Pittsburgh is occupying the space that was once a Bon-Ton department store at the Westmoreland Mall.

Cordish says its total investment is $150 million, which includes the auction costs. Once operational, the company says it will generate an annual economic impact north of $188 million, plus $47.5 million each year in taxes.

The casino is expected to bring 500 new jobs to the region. Cordish last month announced the formation of a casino dealer program in conjunction with the Westmoreland County Community College.