Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia to Launch 29-Table Poker Room in New Year

Written By Martin Harris on December 9, 2020 - Last Updated on December 12, 2020
Live! Philadelphia to open with live poker

The new Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia continues to move toward an opening in early 2021. When that happens, there will be live poker.

According to a casino representative, the new property will feature a 29-table poker room. No official opening date has been announced as yet.

Live! Philly eyeing mid-January for poker room launch

Earlier today, poker reporter Anthony Cicali tweeted confirmation that Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will have a poker room. Cicali shared a short video showing movers bringing a poker table into the casino and unwrapping it.

According to Cicali’s sources, “They are looking to launch mid-January.”

When asked, “Will you guys have poker, and if, so will it be immediately?” via Instagram, a Live! rep responded:

“We will have a poker room, however with covid restrictions, we won’t know until we open.”

The casino was developed and is owned by The Cordish Companies, which also operates Xfinity Live! Philadelphia. Like other Philadelphia casinos, Xfinity Live! has temporarily closed due to citywide restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

All Philadelphia casinos must remain closed until Jan. 1, 2021, at the earliest, meaning the opening of Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will not happen until the new year.

Located in the South Philadelphia Stadium Entertainment District, Live! Philly will feature 2,200 slot machines and over 125 table games.

While plans move ahead toward the casino’s grand opening, the PlayLive! Online Casino and FanDuel-powered online sportsbook are already up and running.

PA poker rooms return slowly, continue to face challenges

It has been a challenging year for Pennsylvania poker rooms, all of which were forced to close in mid-March due to the pandemic. Casinos began to reopen over the summer, but the poker rooms remained shut down as dictated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)‘s COVID-19 Casino Reopening Protocols.

It wasn’t until early October that some of the poker rooms began submitting reopening plans to the PGCB.

Five rooms reopened in late October and early November. They included the rooms at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Mount Airy Casino, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia opened its poker room as well, although the citywide restrictions forced the casino to close once again on Nov. 20.

Parx Casino in Bensalem plans to reopen the state’s largest poker room on Dec. 15.

The poker rooms at Hollywood Casino, Presque Isle Downs and Wind Creek Casino have all remain shuttered. A representative from Wind Creek informed PlayPennsylvania in late November that the casino had no update to provide regarding when the poker room might reopen.

Meanwhile, one of the closed poker rooms, the WSOP-branded one at Harrah’s Philadelphia, will not be reopening. In August, it became known that Harrah’s intended to close its poker room permanently.

For the latest on PA poker room reopenings and plans, visit our live updates page.

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Martin Harris

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, his book Poker & Pop Culture was published by D&B Books.

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