Live! Casino Pittsburgh Undergoing Expansion, as First-Year Business Strong

Posted on: December 16, 2021, 06:53h. 

Last updated on: December 16, 2021, 09:27h.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh marked its one-year operating anniversary on Nov. 25. The Pennsylvania satellite casino is celebrating by announcing expansion plans for the Westmoreland property.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Pennsylvania satellite Cordish
Live! Casino Pittsburgh GM Sean Sullivan is interviewed in the casino’s new poker room. It’s been a most difficult year, albeit a successful one, for Live! Casino Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania’s Westmoreland County. (Image: Live! Casino Pittsburgh)

Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, which owns and operates Live! Pittsburgh, says the company is listening to customer feedback and embarking on new gaming and entertainment amenities to satisfy patron demand. The upcoming changes are highlighted by a seven-table poker room that’s set to open in early 2022.

The point is we listen to people. The point is we constantly want to improve things. If you don’t, you become stale. You become criticized,” said Sean Sullivan, Live! Casino Pittsburgh general manager.

The poker room opening is pending regulatory approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Cordish adds that it recently graduated 24 students from its regional poker school who will work as poker dealers.

The 1,500-square-foot Live! Pittsburgh poker room will occupy what was previously a banquet room used by the adjacent Sports & Social Steel City restaurant and pub.

Cordish’s Pittsburgh casino is a satellite gaming venue of the company’s larger Live! Casino Hotel Philadelphia in the city’s Stadium District.

Sports Lounge Cave

Along with a poker room, Live! Casino Pittsburgh’s second floor will soon offer guests a FanDuel FanCave, a small lounge area where visitors can place bets, eat and drink, and watch live sports.

Cordish says the sports spot will feature a 173-inch television screen with 13 leather recliners. The FanCave space previously houses foosball tables and darts.

The FanCave will allow guests to place a sports bet on one of the self-serve FanDuel sports betting kiosks. Cordish and FanDuel in 2019 reached a deal that puts the sportsbook operator in the casino operator’s gaming properties where such gambling is allowed.

Finally, the third other major change coming to Live! Pittsburgh is the addition of 18 new slot machines in the designated high-limit gaming area. Twenty electronic gaming tables (EGTs) will also be placed on the main casino floor.

The high-limit and EGTs are pending PGCB approval. Pennsylvania’s satellite casino law allows venues such as Live! Pittsburgh to house up to 750 slot machines/EGTs and 40 table games.

First-Year Success

Cordish secured the second Pennsylvania satellite casino auction round in January of 2018 with a winning bid of $40.1 million. The company pinpointed its satellite development in Westmoreland County’s Greensburg, a city that did not opt-out of the state’s gaming expansion consideration.

Cordish poured another $110 million into renovating a former Bon-Ton department store at the Westmoreland Mall into Live! Casino Pittsburgh. The bet is paying off, company brass asserts.

Sullivan claims the casino’s first year in business exceeded expectations. That was accomplished “in a world of COVID where we were shut down for a month.”

Pennsylvania’s gaming industry has experienced record gaming revenue in 2021, largely thought to be due to pent-up demand stemming from the 2020 height of the pandemic. Live! Pittsburgh has reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of nearly $88 million from slots, tables, and sports betting since its November 2020 opening through October 2021.

The Cordish property employs 521 workers who have been collectively compensated $21 million in wages and benefits.