- The Cordish Group has announced that Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia will open on January 19, 2021.
- The property will feature a FanDuel sportsbook.
- Live! Casino & Hotel will feature more than 2100 slots and electronic table games, 150 live gaming tables and a 29 table poker room.
Nothing happens easily in Philadelphia thanks to a corrupt government and burdensome regulatory process. That’s why it has taken South Philadelphia 17 years to get a casino opened. Originally, it was to be a Foxwoods branded property–they were one of five casinos awarded a gaming license by the state of Pennsylvania on December 20, 2006. They were unable to get financing and had their licensing revoked in 2010.
In 2014, the Cordish Companies got involved with plans to open a casino and after slogging through the requisite legal issues and other bureaucratic nonsense so common in the Northeast United States construction began in 2018. That work has paid off and they’ve set an opening date for the Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. The company has announced a ‘soft opening’ with a series of ‘reservation-only preview days’ on January 19. The opening for the general public is set for February 11 pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission.
The highlight of the 510,000 square foot property will be a FanDuel branded sportsbook. The Cordish Company announced a partnership with FanDuel to provide sports betting services at their Live! Casino branded properties back in December. The FanDuel retail location will be part of what is described as a ‘one-of-a-kind sports restaurant’ called Sports & Social Philly. The press release announcing the opening explained the concept as follows:
A big focal point is the Sports & Social Philly, a one-of-a-kind sports restaurant, gaming venue and social lounge that will offer guests the ultimate sports fan experience at the only place in the country located in the center of big-league action from four major professional sports teams.
The facility will include a ‘state-of-the-art AV system, including a giant 52-foot LED display and 24 televisions for ultimate sports viewing.’
The press release also detailed the benefits of the property for the city of Philadelphia:
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia has committed to serve as a transformative development that will create maximum community benefits for the City of Philadelphia and bring economic opportunity and inclusivity to local residents.
The project aims to generate over $2bn in economic stimulus to the city, along with $100m in tax revenues in its first five years of operation, including $25m to Philadelphia’s School District.
Joe Billhimer, Executive Vice President, Cordish Gaming Group, is obviously excited to see such a lengthy process finally play out with the opening of the new property:
“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.”
There have been some questions about the propriety of opening the casino during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most likely, the Cordish Group wanted to get the property open before state bureaucrats changed their minds and tried to extract more money out of them.