Live! Casino Philadelphia Expects Online Sportsbook And Casino By End Of 2020

Posted on October 31, 2019

The Cordish Company hopes to have an online sportsbook live by the end of next fall before it opens its South Philly gaming/dining/entertainment facility during the fourth quarter of 2020, company official Joe Weinberg said Thursday.

There is no operator in place yet for the sportsbook. Though the Philly Live! casino project got preliminary approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) earlier this week.

No sportsbook partner named yet

“We’re working through the process,” said Weinberg just before a topping off ceremony for Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

Construction continued through the hoopla and ceremony, underscoring the company’s urgency to move ahead on the project adjacent to Philadephia’s sports complexes and facing entrances to both I-76 and I-95.

The project, once known as Stadium Casino,  has had some lengthy delays.

Team venues in walking distance

Venues for the Flyers, Sixers, Phillies, and Eagles are within walking distance. Those sports locations draw 8.5 million visitors each year

The complex is also close to Xfinity Live!,  a decade-old partnership between Cordish and Comcast-Spectacor combining sports, entertainment, and broadcasting for NBC.

As the only casino in the Philly region which will have a hotel, Weinberg said Live! will be the area’s upcoming “sports, gaming, and hospitality destination.”

Live! should grow the casino market

While the opening of the facility will reconfigure the region’s casino market, Weinberg predicted the “new excitement” of having an accessible facility near sports facilities will “grow and invigorate the market.”

He said Cordish, a family-owned real estate development business headquartered in Baltimore which opened the Maryland Live! Casino in 2012, isn’t worried about oversaturating the Philadelphia gaming market.

Given the frequency of sporting events through all seasons, Weinberg said he expects ongoing tie-ins between the facility and the Philadelphia teams and sporting arenas with “lots of customer experience and partnerships.”

He added:

“This is one of the spectacular locations in the country.”

The site means it can draw in visitors from out of state and then retain them with dining and a top hotel at 900 Packer Avenue, he said. The location is convenient to New Jersey via the Walt Whitman Bridge.

The South Philadelphia Turf Club Sportsbook is directly across the street.

Live! meant to be an experience

Here is a look at several renderings of the new casino:

  • Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Porte-Cochere-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Asian-restaurant-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Center-Bar-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Fine-Dining-Restaurant-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Poker-Room-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Sportsbook-Bar-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Pre-Function-area-Ballroom-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg
  • Guestroom-Live-Casino-Hotel-Philadelphia.jpg

The finished casino should hold:

  • 2,200 slot machines and electronic table games
  • Retail sportsbook,
  • 150 table games
  • 200-room hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment spaces
  • Parking garage
  • Valet service

In a first, the casino plans include an esports arena too.

David Cordish, chairman of the company, summed up the appeal of the site in a statement:

“Sports fans, foodies, gaming enthusiasts, concert-goers, and anyone looking for a night of fun and excitement only have to make one stop to experience it all.”

Philly is integral to the casino project

Company officials repeatedly emphasized their desire to work with and share with the community and promote all of Philadephia.

Even the music at the event was Philly-themed, with a recording of legendary Philly jazz saxophonist John Coltrane riffing his signature tune, Giant Steps, starting things off and the Rocky theme blaring as the final girder fitted into the steel superstructure.

The company is creating 2,000 permanent jobs and another 3,000 construction jobs. About $100 million in tax revenue will go to Philadelphia in the first five years. Another $25 million should go to the school district.

Cordish still expanding in PA

Casino expansion plans continue for the company in Pennsylvania.

Cordish has already done site work in Western PA’s Westmoreland County aimed at transforming a vacant mall space into a Class 4 mini-casino.

The busy company announced a contractor for the $150 million project on Thursday. The mini-casino site is 30 miles from Pittsburgh. The ceremonial groundbreaking is Nov. 13.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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