Priming the pump, the Cordish Gaming Group opened its PlayLive! Casino app earlier this month, making a bit of history.

It launched its Live! app well ahead of grand opening plans for brick-and-mortar casinos on both sides of Pennsylvania. That’s a first for PA online casino sites.

Online before Live! properties in Western and Eastern PA

PlayLive! is the first branded online gambling site that has launched a mobile site before the opening of its related physical casinos.

And it is Cordish’s first online venture.

A new Live! mini-casino near Pittsburgh is set for opening this fall. A full-sized casino in the stadium district of Philadelphia is expected for early next year.

And the company is making a bid to buy another available mini license on Sept. 2. That will take place during the upcoming Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting.

Qualify for Live! Rewards online

The online casino site is linked to the Live! Rewards customer loyalty program already in play at Cordish’s established casino properties. It allows Live! to begin to connect with PA guests before they can physically visit a Live! property in PA.

The program is free. Members qualify for benefits and perks on both PlayLive! and at all Live! Casino & Hotel properties.

Well-stocked site

The lively GAN-powered Live! site offers about 100 slot titles, plus table games and video poker.

And there are lots of incentives to start:

  • Up to $750 in deposit bonuses, plus 100 free spins. There is a 20x-playthrough requirement, and the offer ends on Oct. 4.
  • Bet $30 on the popular progressive slot Divine Fortune and get 30 free spins.
  • A leaderboard that offers 200 free spins.

Rob Norton, president of Cordish Gaming Group, explained in a statement:

“This site certainly illustrates our ability to enhance the traditional launch timeline of our new casino projects. PlayLive! will provide a sneak peek of our brand to the future guests of Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

“PlayLive! will enable us to connect with guests virtually until we can greet them physically. The site will definitely build buzz and excitement for what’s to come in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia soon.”

To that end, games are configured as they would be at Live! Casino properties, providing similar gaming experiences online to what customers will find in the live casinos.

The PlayLive! online lineup

Slots include the classics:

  • Wheel of Fortune: Triple Extreme Spin
  • Wheel of Fortune: Hawaiian Getaway
  • Jumanji
  • Cleopatra
  • 100,000 Pyramid
  • Da Vinci Diamonds
  • Triple Red Hot 777 Free Games

Table games at PlayLive!:

  • Blackjack
  • Four types of roulette
  • Baccarat

Video poker at PlayLive!:

  • Game King
  • Deuces Wild
  • Jacks Are Better

The site is now accessible on desktop, mobile and Android.

An iOS app is expected “in the coming weeks,” according to a customer rep.

The presence of Live! in PA follows the launch of Wind Creek’s online casino.

Online launch dates

  • Hollywood Casino: July 2019
  • Parx Casino: July 2019
  • SugarHouse (now Rivers Casino Philadelphia): July 2019
  • PokerStars (Mount Airy): November 2019
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun): November 2019
  • FanDuel (Valley Forge Casino): January 2020
  • Bet Rivers (Rivers Casino Pittsburgh): January 2020
  • Bet America (Presque Isle): January 2020
  • Caesars: April 2020
  • Wind Creek Casino: July 2020
  • PlayLive!: August 2020

There’s no word yet on the launch for a sportsbook for Live! but a representative for Cordish confirmed that FanDuel is its sports betting partner. A launch by end of the year is quite possible, as a Live! executive previously predicted an online sportsbook by the end of August.

Online casinos remain hot in PA

Online casinos have been on a roll, generating gross revenue of $54.4 million during July. That’s 8.6% higher than in June.

Revenue then was $50.1 million. June and July were both down just slightly from PA iGaming’s peak revenue of $55.8 million in May.

Two brick-and-mortar facilities catering to gamblers recently reopened

Across the street from the Philly Live! Casino site, the South Philadelphia Turf Club has reopened since shutting down in mid-March due to the virus pandemic.

It could have reopened weeks ago, but the Parx Casino satellite facility chose to stay shut.

Also reopened to customers for the first time since the pandemic is the outdoor section of Xfinity Live! It’s a sports bar near Live! Casino and the stadiums, but without a retail gambling option.