Live! Casino Pittsburgh Expanding, Event Space Planned at Pennsylvania Satellite

Dubbed The Venue at Live! Casino, the events facility, will occupy formerly vacant space inside the Westmoreland Mall. Live! Casino Pittsburgh opened in what was formerly a Bon-Ton department store in November of 2020.

Building on the Category 4, so-called “mini” or “satellite casino,” which in Pennsylvania is permitted to house up to 750 slot machines, 30 table games, and a sportsbook, parent company The Cordish Companies is diversifying the property with an events facility. The Venue, company officials say, will open in late June and be an ideal host site for weddings, corporate functions, meetings, and concerts.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh General Manager Sean Sullivan said the expansion is to better improve the casino’s operations and bring in new visitors to the gaming property.

The casino says The Venue will be capable of holding 350 guests in a reception-style seated layout. For concerts and entertainment configurations, the space will have the capacity for more than 700 people.

Satellite Success
Pennsylvania’s expansion of gaming in 2017 legalized sports betting, iGaming, video gaming terminals at certain truck stops, daily fantasy sports, and Category 4 mini-casinos.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) held four successful Category 4 auction rounds. Three of the developments have since opened.

Along with Live! Casino Pittsburgh, a satellite facility tethered to Cordish’s larger Live! Casino Philadelphia integrated resort in that city’s Stadium District, Hollywood Casino York, and Hollywood Casino Morgantown have commenced operations.

Live! Pittsburgh was the top satellite in 2021, which was a record year for the Pennsylvania gaming industry. The Cordish Category 4 property reported land-based gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $101.5 million. The GGR is inclusive of the casino’s slots, table games, and FanDuel Sportsbook.

Hollywood York was a distant second at just $33.2 million. But the Penn National Gaming property only began operations in August of 2021. PNG’s second satellite in Westmoreland opened in December.

Cordish invested more than $150 million in transforming the Westmoreland Mall anchor store into Live! Casino Pittsburgh. The spend includes the company’s $40.1 million bidding fee during the second PGCB Category 4 auction round in July 2018.

Property Reconfiguration
Live! Casino Pittsburgh’s expansion news this week comes four months after property officials commemorated their one-year anniversary with a renovation announcement in December. Late last year, the casino unveiled plans to incorporate a seven-table poker room, FanDuel FanCave, where bettors can watch games on a 173-inch television screen, a high-limit slots area, and the addition of 20 electronic gaming tables (EGTs).

Also, in December, Cordish announced it was selling the physical assets of Live! Casino Pittsburgh to Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (GLPI), the real estate investment trust of Caesars Entertainment. The transaction allows Cordish to rent Live! Pittsburgh’s operations from GLPI for a minimum of the next 39 years.

Cordish will pay GLPI $125 million annually to run Live! Casino Pittsburgh, plus Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. GLPI paid Cordish $1.81 billion for the three casino properties.
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