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Industry Updates

More Online Gambling Coming To PA As Live! Casino Opening Date Announced

After years of legal complications, the official grand opening of the new Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia has finally been announced for February 11, 2021. Live! Rewards Club members will have special preview access beginning January 19.

The opening will be the catalyst for the launch of a Live!-partnered FanDuel sportsbook and the PlayLive online casino, built on a proprietary platform from GAN.

Many Years in the Making

The Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia is owned by the Maryland-based developer Cordish Companies, which already has several Live! Casino resorts around the mid-Atlantic region.  The company operates in Philadelphia as Stadium Casino LLC.

The Cordish Companies’ flagship property is Live! Casino is in Maryland. The Live! casino-hotel complex is one of Maryland’s top attractions, drawing over 10 million customers every year. Cordish hopes to bring that same level of service to the Philadelphia market.

The Cordish Companies also developed two casino properties for the Seminole Tribe in Florida, the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa.

The history of the Live! Casino and Hotel in Philadelphia dates back many years and has gone through several iterations.

The Philadelphia market is one of the most lucrative in the country, and plans for a Foxwoods Casino in Philadelphia were first introduced 17 years ago. However, Foxwoods failed to secure financing and, as a result, had its license revoked by authorities in 2010.  The Cordish Companies secured approval for their site in 2014 (initially as a joint venture with Parx), and they battled through many years of legal issues until they finally reached this point.

The $700 million gaming and entertainment complex is expected to generate over $2 billion in economic stimulus in the city and $100 million in tax revenue in its first five years of operation.

The casino will open with a series of reservation-only preview days for Live! Rewards Club members on January 19, followed by a grand opening for the general public on February 11 at 8 pm.

As per the executive vice president of Cordish Gaming Group, Joe Billhimer:

“We are beyond excited to go Live! in Philadelphia and bring this world-class gaming and entertainment destination to the heart of the Stadium District. What we have created here is unrivaled anywhere in the country. Sports fans, foodies, gaming enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a night of fun and excitement only has to make one stop to experience it all.”

Grand Opening in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

COVID-19 caused construction to cease on the new casino for a couple of months, but a new opening date was soon announced. Ahead of the opening, the casino developed a comprehensive Play it Safe plan. This program allows for increased cleaning frequency, social distancing, reduced occupancies, and vigorous health and hygiene measures.

Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for our team members and guests,” said Billhimer. “We’ve gone through extraordinary measures to meet and exceed Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 guidelines to ensure all our guests have fun and feel safe.”

Pennsylvania is still weighing whether or not it will allow indoor dining from January 15, as casinos were allowed to reopen on the 4th. There is still a no-smoking policy indoors in place, and masks are required at all times.

Which amenities will the new Live! Philadelphia feature?

  • Over 2,000 slots and electronic table games
  • 150 live-action table games
  • A dedicated poker room with close to 30 tables
  • A luxury, 12-story Live! Hotel
  • Multiple dining and entertainment options
  • A FanDuel Sportsbook
  • An Event Center with thousands of square feet of customizable meeting space to accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

Cordish Companies’ First Foray into Online Gambling

The Cordish Companies hold a license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to launch an online casino, the group’s first online gambling venture.

The PlayLive online casino is built on a GAN proprietary platform and boasts around 100 casino slots and table games. Currently, an Android app is available, and iOS users can access PlayLive Casino using a mobile browser and a geolocation app.  Players must be physically located in the state of Pennsylvania to play online. However, they can register, make a deposit, and access their account from any state. The site uses geolocation detection to measure the player’s physical location before launching any of the games.

It’s expected that the Live! rewards program will become available to PlayLive! online customers in the not too distant future.

FanDuel Increases Its PA Sportsbook Presence

One of the casino’s focal points is the Sports & Social Philly, a unique sports restaurant, gaming venue, and social lounge where guests will find “the ultimate sports fan experience,” according to a press release.

The FanDuel Sportsbook and Lounge will feature a giant 52-foot LED display AV system and 24 TVs.

Pennsylvania sports bettors have access to the FanDuel Sportsbook online in Pennsylvania via the sports betting giant’s partnership with the Valley Forge Casino Resort. They can access the sportsbook as long as they are physically located in the state to place their sports wager.

They will also now have access to the FanDuel sportsbook via the Live! Casino and Hotel site.

FanDuel Sportsbook is also available in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, and Colorado.

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