Winner Winner, Turkey Dinner: Live! Pittsburgh Mini-Casino to Open in Time for Thanksgiving

Posted on September 21, 2020 - Last Updated on October 26, 2020

Plans are moving along for Live! Casino Pittsburgh, despite some minor setbacks.

The mini-casino should open for business in about two months at a rehabbed mall space in Western Pennsylvania. General Manager Sean Sullivan provided the open-ended time frame during a local media tour of the construction late last week.

Mall landlord heading to a bankruptcy filing

By the time of the opening in a former department store space, the mall’s owner, CBL, will be in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. CBL expects operations of its properties to continue as before, despite the filing planned for Oct. 1.

The $150 million casino in a former Bon-Ton store under development by The Cordish Companies of Baltimore will feature 750 slots and 30 table games.

Multiple restaurants and several entertainment venues will also fill the space. That’s a hallmark of Cordish developments.

Had hoped to develop another mini-casino

Cordish, a privately held, family-owned company, is building a full-size casino in the Stadium area of Philadelphia and had hoped to add another mini-casino in PA to its holdings. But Cordish was outbid for that satellite casino license early this month.

Officials estimate the West Hempfield Township casino will bring 500 jobs to the area and have an annual economic impact of $188 million.

Last week, about 15 high-limit slot machines were installed, according to Trib-Live.

“That’s one of those benchmarks that’s critical in the construction and opening process,” Sullivan said as he showcased the site. “So, getting slot machines in here … is really an integral part. There’s so many facets to that that when we see this, we almost have a mini celebration.”

Recruiting workers and training dealers

Live! opened a recruitment center in August and is now holding a dealer school.

FanDuel has partnered with Live! on the first-floor casino for a retail sportsbook in the 100,000-square-foot facility.

The second floor will house Sports and Social Steel City, a 445-seat restaurant and bar space. A 45-foot television screen is viewable from the sports betting space downstairs.

Also featured are three bars, a four-lane bowling alley, Skee-Ball, a golf simulator, darts, basketball hoops, tables tennis and shuffleboard. There is also a banquet space on the second floor and a fourth bar on the first floor, with additional televisions.

Adding key staff hires

Last week, Brent Colston was named vice president of gaming operations for the casino, responsible for managing and directing the table games, slots tech, sportsbook operations and staff.

He has more than 27 years of diverse experience and joins Live! from the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek in Florida. There, he was in charge of slot and table games management, gaming analysis, profit and loss management, strategic planning and employee development.

He began his gaming career in 1993 with Isle of Capri Casinos, where he held various positions including director of casino operations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa and Florida.

Live! will soon open land-based casinos in Pennsylvania and has already entered the PA online casino market with its PlayLive! app launch in August.

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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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