Live! Hotel & Casino is getting in the game of Pennsylvania sports betting.

On July 27, plans were submitted to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for the property’s online, retail, and satellite betting.

What we know about Live! sportsbook

In terms of location, Live!’s brick-and-mortar sportsbook is in a prime spot. It’s located in the heart of Philadelphia’s major sports complex. During a July 10 PGCB meeting, Cordish Gaming, the project’s parent company, said they would apply for the $10 million sports wagering certificate by month’s end. The company also unveiled artist renderings of the casino and the sportsbook.

As for a Live!-branded PA online sportsbook, other than mentioning it is in the works, the application offered no details regarding projected online launch dates. The company currently does not have an online partner.

Competition heats up for casinos and sportsbooks in Philadelphia

The competition in Philadelphia isn’t limited to the confines of Lincoln Financial Field or Wells Fargo Center. At the July 10 PGCB meeting, reps said Live! Hotel & Casino is on track for a December 2020 opening.

Cordish possess a growing national presence when Live! bills itself as a “world-class integrated casino and hospitality destination,” it’s expected to deliver.

Currently, there is nothing to suggest otherwise. Live! is the largest initial development of a casino in the state of Pennsylvania. Cordish’s presentation laid out a hotel and casino with a much swankier feel than the current offerings in the area. Plans include porte-cochere video art, oversize luxury hotel rooms, and upscale dining options.

Live!’s projected scale and type of experience presents a polar opposite to neighboring Parx-operated South Philadelphia Turf Club. It will no doubt serve as competition to SugarHouse Sportbook (soon to be Rivers Philadelphia Sportsbook). Live! will enjoy the walking-distance advantage to the sports complex.

Live! satellite casino sportsbook

Construction is well underway at Live!, with erecting of pre-cast and steel finishing soon.

Plans for a Live!-sponsored mini-casino, which will anchor Westmoreland Mall are also in the works. Cordish wants to offer sports betting at the satellite casino. However, since the gaming expansion law passed in October 2017, there’s been some confusion about how mini-casinos and sports betting interact.

Live! is a Category 2 casino. Category 1 casinos can offer a retail sportsbook at satellite facilities. However, Category 2 and 3 properties currently need to file a supplemental $10 million license for the mini-casino property.

Live! is crying foul in the application. It is petitioning the board to allow Category 2 properties the same permissions as Category 1 facilities.

Sports betting licensing fees in Pennsylvania

Live! is the 11th Pennsylvania casino to apply for the $10 million sports betting license. It represents a whopping $110 million in sports betting license fees for Pennsylvania. By comparison, the tax revenue over the course of seven months of legalized sports betting stands at $7.8 million.

With 11 of Pennsylvania’s 13 casinos applying for a sports betting license, the hefty price tag is not proving to be a deterrent. Or it could simply be a case of “casino peer pressure.” Everyone else is doing it, so should we … if we don’t customers will leave us?

Joining the club of Pennsylvania sports betting license holders requires much more than designer clothes and a fast car. Even a high-roller’s eyes would bulge at the buy-in in comparison to neighboring New Jersey.


  • Licensing fee: $10 million
  • Tax on gross revenue: 34%
  • Local share tax: 2%
  • Federal excise tax on handle: 0.25%

New Jersey:

  • Licensing fee: $100,000
  • Tax on gross revenue for brick-and-mortar: 8.5%
  • Tax on gross revenue for online: 13%
  • Local share tax. 1.25%