Pittsburgh-Area Mini-Casino Targets Late 2020 Launch

A Pittsburgh-area mini-casino is hoping to be able to open doors before the end of the year, despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is currently under development in Hempfield Township, Westmore County, just around 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. The facility is set to occupy the site of the shuttered Bon-Ton store at Westmoreland Mall.

The casino is developed and will be operated by Baltimore-based real estate developer and entertainment operator The Cordish Companies. The company is also behind a larger project for the development of Philadelphia’s second casino.

Commenting on when Live! Casino Pittsburgh will be ready to welcome its first patrons, Doug Haniford, Advertising and Public Relations Manager for the future casino, said that “due to the many unknowns that the Covid pandemic can create, we have not yet announced an official grand opening date.”

Mr. Haniford went on to say that they are still targeting to open doors before the end of the year.

The Cordish Companies submitted an application to operate a mini-casino in the fall of 2018 and obtained a license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board later that year. Under Pennsylvania’s sweeping gambling reform adopted in the fall of 2017, the state’s gambling regulator can award up to 10 licenses for mini-casinos in different parts of the state.

The Gaming Control Board previously held seven mini-casino license auctions, but only a handful of them attracted bidders. The next such auction is scheduled for September 2.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh

Live! Casino Pittsburgh will be a 100,000-square-foot facility that is estimated to cost $150 million to build. The property is expected to generate 960 jobs during construction and 500 jobs when operational.

The new mini-casino will feature 750 slot machines, including hit titles Wheel of Fortune, Blazing 7s, Double Diamond, and more, as well as 30 table games, including baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh will also feature a sportsbook that will be operated by FanDuel. The Cordish Companies teamed up with the sports betting operator late last year. The partnership will see FanDuel operate sportsbooks at the developer’s Pittsburgh and Philadelphia casinos when they open to the public.

The Pittsburgh mini-casino will also feature the 22,000-square-foot Sports & Social Steel City experience. That facility will be Live! Casino Pittsburgh’s main space for dining and entertainment. It will spread across two levels and will feature 445 seats, a giant 45-foot LED video screen that will be showing major sports events, and an array of interactive social games, including bowling, ping pong, darts, and a golf-simulator, among others.

The mini-casino will also feature 7,000 square feet of space for corporate events and social gatherings.

As mentioned above, one more Live! Casino is currently under development in Pennsylvania. Live! Casino Philadelphia, the city’s second full-scale Las Vegas-style gambling venue, is being built at 900 Packer Ave. in the heart of the South Philadelphia Stadium District. It is expected to open doors in early 2021.

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