Team of Former Rivals Join Forces at Live! Casino Pittsburgh, Soft Opening Nov. 17

Former Western PA gaming execs from Rivers Casino and the Meadows join forces to help run Live! Pittsburgh, which opens to the public later this month.

When Live! Casino Pittsburgh formally opens the 100,000-square-foot facility later this month, a team of former rivals will be at the helm.

Craig Clark was most recently president of Hard Rock Ottawa, which is owned jointly by the Seminole Tribe and the Rideau Carleton Raceway. Before that, he was the general manager of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Clark is a certified public accountant, coming to Live!’s new $150 million facility as the director of finance.

Clark joins General Manager Sean Sullivan, who previously served as the GM of the Meadows Racetrack & Casino, a Penn National Gaming facility in Western PA.

Plenty of Western PA Experience at Live!

Clark served seven years at Rivers Pittsburgh, ending in 2018, and this move returns him to Western PA after just two years in Ottawa. At Live! Pittsburgh, Clark is responsible for the finance department, which includes accounting, analytics, finance, scheduling, income and revenue audit, purchasing, warehousing, count rooms and the casino cage.

Clark understands the Western Pennsylvania market well and has more than 26 years of diversified experience in the casino industry. In addition to Rivers and Hard Rock, he’s been an executive at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California, and Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York.

Along the way, he’s developed local partnerships with a community college to train casino dealers.

He has previously said his philosophy is to design programs around initiatives, provide opportunities and outlets for employees, and enhance the customer experience.

He and Sullivan have a combined 20 years of experience in the Western PA region. Sullivan was named the general manager for Live! Casino back in February.

Live! Pittsburgh opening details

The forthcoming property is in a rehabbed mall space in Westmoreland County and is technically a satellite mini-casino. The property is a project of the Cordish Companies, which is also developing a full-size Live! casino in South Philadelphia, adjacent to the city’s sports stadiums. Joe Billhimer oversees both properties as the Cordish Gaming Group‘s executive vice president.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is scheduled to open on Nov. 24. There is a media preview on Nov. 12 without the public present. A ribbon-cutting follows Nov. 17, with test-run charity nights for invited guests. The formal opening for the public at large is at 6 p.m. on the 24th.

The location is approximately 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, directly off Route 30. Live! features 750 slots and approximately 30 live-action table games, plus a FanDuel Sportsbook. Live! has already launched an online casino, PlayLive! but an online sportsbook is still to come. Live! Philadelphia should open in early 2021.

Live! plans restaurant and bar experience

Live! plans nationally recognized restaurants and live entertainment venues, including Sports & Social Steel City, a sports restaurant, gaming venue and social lounge.

Guy Fieri, an Emmy-award winning chef, restaurateur, New York Times best-selling author and television personality, will open the American Kitchen + Bar in the facility.

Live! Casino is owned and managed by Stadium Casino Westmoreland RE LLC, an affiliate of the Cordish Companies of Baltimore.

Country-themed PBR bar coming next year

Next year, the facility will add the Professional Bull Rider Country BarPBR Pittsburgh‘s newest location — during the second phase of openings.

PBR will be located on the second floor of the facility and feature the area’s only professionally endorsed mechanical riding bull, private VIP booths and the best in country music.

“We want people to have fun at Live! Casino, and PBR Pittsburgh is going to make sure they do,” said Sullivan. “It’s going to be a remarkable venue. Keeping the safety of our guests top of mind, we can’t wait to welcome everyone to PBR for a first-class entertainment experience when it opens next year.”

Live! Casino is now hiring for positions at PBR Pittsburgh. For complete information and job listings, visit www.workatlive.com.

Lead image via Live! Pittsburgh.

PA Online Casinos Flex Again with Record $57 Million Revenue in September, Boosted by DraftKings

Chase Claypool isn’t the only one setting records in PA. Online casinos once again outdid themselves, with $57 million in revenue in September 2020.

PA online casino games generated gross revenue of more than  $57 million during September, the highest in a single month so far for Pennsylvania.

Of the September total, online slots accounted for more than $39.9 million in revenue, with an additional $14.7 million from online table games.

In August, online slot games accounted for $39.6 million and online table games just under $13.6 million.

Total online slot wagers held steady at $1.06 billion for September, while table games saw a month-over-month increase from $812.5 million to $926.8 million wagered.

New iGaming record despite poker’s continued slide

Online poker, with just one operator, PokerStars via Mount Airy Resort, generated September revenue of nearly $2.4 million.

Poker continues to slide, down from $2.7 million in revenue in August.

With poker rolled into the other online revenues, the September figure came in at just over $57 million, according to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) figures.

In September a year ago, when the iGaming industry in PA was just getting off the ground, revenue was just $4.1 million. That revenue has increased nearly 12.8x in September 2020.

Total September revenue up, retail down more than 16%

In September, total gaming and fantasy revenue was more than $284.2 million. That’s an increase of 1% compared to September 2019, when casinos were open at full capacity.

By comparison, slot and table revenue in brick-and-mortar casinos were down 16% in September compared to a year ago.

With sharply fewer machines in play due to virus restrictions, slot revenue last month was more than $157.4 million, and table games revenue was over $59.1 million. Thankfully for the PA gaming market (and tax revenue), online gaming channels have made up the difference.

PA sportsbooks eclipse $400 million in handle

PA sports betting has bounced back in a big way, with September offering a packed-full menu of sports. The total sports handle reached a new record of nearly $462.8 million, more than double September 2019, when the handle was just $194.5 million.

However, the taxable sports revenue figure for September 2020 was just below $6.3 million, which was 58% lower than a year ago, when it was nearly $14.9 million.

September’s handle was a whopping 26.8% increase over the previous record of $365 million set in August.

September online casino breakdown by PA operator

A complete breakdown of September revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$16.1 million$14.4 million$1.7 million
Penn National (DraftKings Casino)$10.2 million$4.6 million$5.6 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$9.1 million$5.1 million$4.0 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$6.6 million$2.7 million$1.5 million
Parx Casino$6.2 million$5.2 million$1.0 million
Penn National (Hollywood Casino)$4.6 million$4.2 million$334,000
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.4 million$2.0 million$406,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$784,000$748,000$37,000
Wind Creek Casino$562,000$475,000$88,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$406,000$333,000$73,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia $104,000$89,000$15,000
Totals:$54.7 million$39.9 million$14.7 million

Casino operators by the numbers

Five operators had total online casino revenue above $5 million.

Rivers Philly, which combines SugarHouse and BetRivers, topped $16 million, with $14.4 million revenue from slots.

Penn National/DraftKings topped $10 million in online revenue, with the twist that $5.6 million — or more than half — came from table games, which is not the norm. It was the first month since launch in early May that DraftKings Casino surpassed online casino FanDuel for revenue.

Valley Forge/FanDuel hit $9.1 million in online revenue.

Mount Airy, which includes PokerStars and Fox Bet, hit $6.6 million.

And Parx had $6.2 million in revenue.

Live! Casino Philadelphia, which is new, having opened online before having a casino built, trailed everyone else with just $104,000 in total revenue in its first full month in operation.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Michael Conroy

A September To Remember For These Lucky Jackpot Winners At PA Casinos

Pennsylvania casino goers had some nice wins in September. Here’s a sampling of some of the biggest slot jackpots in town last month.

Casinos in Pennsylvania are open again. Some things are different due to increased COVID-19 safety protocols, but some things remain the same, like the chance to win a big jackpot.

These days, you don’t even have to leave your home to play and possibly win. As long as you are physically located in Pennsylvania, you can access 11 online casinos. And you can hit big there, too.

Just a few days ago, a couple won a $139,283 Divine Fortune jackpot at HollywoodCasino.com.

On Friday, we invited Online Jackpot winners to celebrate their winnings at Hollywood Casino at Penn National…

Posted by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course on Monday, October 5, 2020

Here are some of the biggest jackpot wins at PA casinos in September

(The following is not a complete list of jackpots.)

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Blazing 7’s is a new optional Blackjack progressive side bet that wins based on the number of 7s the player receives in their hand. The more 7s in your hand, the more you win.

Other Rivers Pittsburgh wins:

Valley Forge Casino jackpots

Other Valley Forge Casino winners:

The Meadows Casino jackpot winners

Here are a few of our lucky recent Jackpot winners. Congratulations to everyone and don't forget to share your winnings down below! Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Posted by The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

We have had some big winners recently! Here are just a few of our recent jackpots, congratulations and don't forget to share your lucky wins down below! Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Posted by The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Wind Creek Casino jackpots

This diamond could be anyone’s best friend. A $30,000 winner at Triple Diamond.

Some penny slot wins at Wind Creek:

Mohegan Sun Pocono jackpots

More Mohegan Sun wins:

Hollywood Casino jackpots

What a way to break in a new machine! Mere hours after this new machine was put up for play, our guest from…

Posted by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Help us congratulate our 2 recent jackpot winners! 🎰🥳Congrats to our guest from Harrisburg, PA, on their $17,489.14…

Posted by Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course on Saturday, September 19, 2020

Other winners at Hollywood Casino:

Parx jackpots

September jackpots at Parx Casino:

PAOC reminds you to always gamble responsibly. If it becomes a problem, there is help available. A list of problem gambling resources can be found at PlayPennsylvania.

Lead image from Hollywood Casino at Penn National Facebook page.

A $50 Million June for PA Online Casino Promotes Recovery in Wounded Market

Amid a 51% year-over-year PA gaming revenue decline, online gambling remained a bright spot in June, and hope is dawning for land-based casinos.

Even with the reopening of most brick-and-mortar casinos in June, it was a mixed month.

Live and online casino operations, plus daily fantasy contests and VGTs, combined to bring in $132.6 million in PA gaming revenue in June, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) showed in its monthly revenue report. Compared to June 2019’s $271.3 million, it was a 51.1% drop year-over-year.

But without iGaming, which wasn’t yet live in June 2019, it could have been much worse.

In June, online slots, table games and online poker combined for $50 million in revenue, down a bit from the still-record $55.8 million in May.

iGaming slots, table games and poker

Of the $50 million June gross revenue, the sole poker site PokerStars PA accounted for $3.2 million.  That’s down from $4.6 million in May but still the third-best month for the operator.

Online casino (slots and tables) brought in $46.8 million in June, compared to the record $51.2 million in May. Of that, $36.8 million was from internet slots and another $10 million came from table games.

Internet casino-type games were not yet operational last June. The first online casino operator launched in July 2019, while PokerStars added online poker to PA in early November 2019.

June online casino breakdown by PA operator

A complete breakdown of June revenue, including slots and tables games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly* (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$15.0 million$13.3 million$1.7 million
Penn National* (Hollywood & DraftKings)$9.6 million$7.7 million$1.8 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$7.8 million$4.6 million$3.2 million
Parx Casino$6.2 million$5.0 million$1.2 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$4.5 million$2.7 million$1.8 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.5 million$2.2 million$377,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$761,000$742,000$18,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$498,000$504,000-$7,000
Totals:$46.8 million$36.8 million$10.0 million

Top iGaming sites in PA

The overall revenue leader for online sites in June was Rivers Philly, which operates SugarHouse and BetRivers. It had total revenue of $15.0 million. Slots accounted for $13.3 million, and $1.7 million came from table games.

Penn National’s Hollywood and DraftKings sites combined for $9.6 million, with $7.7 million from slots and $1.8 million from table games.

Valley Forge’s FanDuel was third, but tops in table revenue with $3.2 million, and a healthy $4.6 million from slots.

Parx also remains a strong revenue producer, with $5 million from slots and $1.2 million from table games.

Online sports betting on the up and up

June’s total sports wagering handle was $89 million, 15% higher than the May 2020 total of $77.51 million.

At the same time, the taxable revenue figure for June was $6.7 million, 38% higher than the May taxable revenue of $4.8 million. Of that, online sports wagering accounted for $6.8 million, with retail in the negative by about $99,000. 

Valley Forge led the way with $2.9 million from online.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National lost more than $10,000 in retail, and it has no online presence yet, though it has said it hopes to launch in August.

Mohegan Sun Pocono had no sports revenue, nor did two still-shuttered off-site satellite books in Oaks and South Philly operated by Parx Casino.

Although PA gambling revenue for June was down significantly year-over-year, signs of recovery are beginning to peek out from the clouds.

June PA Online Casino Sign-Up Bonuses, Promos And Casino Reopenings

Our monthly rundown of the latest online casino promotions and sign-up bonuses in Pennsylvania, plus the latest on live casino reopenings.

Two casinos, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and The Meadows, officially welcomed guests back in Pennsylvania on June 9. Lady Luck Nemacolin in Farmington, PA, also reopened on June 12.

However, the rest of PA’s casinos remain closed for now. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the reopening of the other casinos will happen soon.

In fact, Hollywood Casino is set to reopen Friday, June 19. Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino are also in counties going green on Friday.

Online casinos never stopped in PA

While the majority of casinos remain shuttered, you can still play PA online casino games on the go or from the comfort of your own home.

PA is just one of four states where online casinos are fully legalized and regulated. Therefore, you can play land-based casino games such as blackjack, slots, roulette and video poker without ever setting foot in a casino.

In fact, the iGaming market continues to expand in the Keystone State with the recent additions of DraftKings and Caesars. Now PA has a total of 10 online casinos.

In this month’s roundup on PA Online Casino, we recap:

  • Bonuses, plus June online casino promotions
  • Member rewards
  • What to expect as PA casinos reopen
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New player bonus: Play your first 24 hours risk-free by getting 100% back on your losses of up to $200.

Current FanDuel casino promotion: $5 bonus on blackjack with the Game of the Week

DraftKings casino

New player bonus: Play your first 24 hours risk-free by getting 100% back on your losses of up to $200.

Current DraftKings casino promotion: $5 bonus on blackjack with the Game of the Week

Unibet casino

New player bonus: Get $10 as a welcome bonus with no deposit required, along with a matched first deposit bonus of up to $500.

Current Unibet casino promotions: 

  • Table game race: Wager $1 on table games and get 1 point toward the leaderboard race.
  • Weekly deposit reload: 25% bonus of up to $50 on your first deposit on Thursdays.

PokerStars casino

In addition to offering online casino games, PokerStars PA also holds the title as the only online poker operator in Pennsylvania — for now.

New player bonus: Get a 100% matched deposit bonus of up to $1,500 on your first three deposits. Also, get up to $1,000 for slot bonuses in two mystery chests.

Current PokerStars casino promotion: Mystery Mega Prize up to $500 daily.

If you’re looking to play online poker, check out the PokerStars PA Summer Series happening June 18-28, with $750K in guaranteed prizes.

BetRivers / PlaySugarHouse online casino

New player bonus: First deposit matched bonus of 100%, up to $250.

BetRivers rewards: iRush loyalty plus bonus store points for real money wagers

Hollywood online casino

New player bonus: Get $25 just for creating a new account, along with a deposit match bonus of up to $500.

Current Hollywood casino promotion: Spring Into Summer by logging in daily

Rewards: mychoice reward program

Three other PA online casinos

There are also three other online casinos in the Keystone State:

The reopening of land-based casinos

According to the PGCB, there are health and safety requirements to be met or exceeded prior to brick-and-mortar casinos reopening:

  • Limited to 50% capacity
  • Everyone, employees and guests, must wear masks
  • No poker rooms for now
  • Increased availability of hand sanitation on gaming floors

Looking to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and The Meadows, the two casinos are operating on limited hours, not 24/7.

Indeed, we can expect the rest of the casinos to follow suit as they reopen as well. PlayPennsylvania is updating a live blog for you to find out more about PA casino reopenings and what to expect when you head back to live gaming.

PA Online Casino & Poker Sail To New Records In April As Overall Revenue Plummets

The bright spot in the April Pennsylvania gaming revenue report is online gaming, as online casinos and online poker produced their best numbers yet.

April was the best of times for online wagering in Pennsylvania amid the worst of times overall for revenue, according to figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB.)

Shuttered land-based wagering generated no revenue, while online revenue set a record for the third straight month.

PA also had a record month for poker, faring the best of any US state where it’s legal despite there being just one operator.

As a result of the coronavirus disruptions, overall gaming revenue was down 84% for April 2020 compared to April last year, even with the huge increase in online betting.

Online casino games expanded to fill the revenue void

Filling the void created by closed casinos, April 2020 online casino revenue jumped 73% over the previous month, when revenue was $24.9 million.

Casino games online generated a record gross revenue of $43.1 million in April. That includes online slots, table games and poker.

Tax revenue from all forms of gaming in April 2020 was $18.3 million.

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Online slots saw the biggest revenue gains

The online slots segment saw the biggest gain, with revenue more than doubling from $13 million in March to $27.3 million in April.

PokerStars/Mount Airy hit nearly $5.3 million in April, up from $3.1 million in March.  PokerStars PA remains the sole live poker operation in PA.

Casinos closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and remain locked down, meaning there was no revenue from casino floor games nor retail sports wagering in April.

The three biggest interactive operators were sister sites SugarHouse and BetRivers, operating under Rivers Philadelphia, and FanDuel casino, in partnership with Valley Forge.

While SugarHouse and BetRivers were the clear winners in the online slot competition, Valley Forge once again dominated when it comes to online table games.

PA online casino revenue by operator in April

A complete breakdown of  April revenue, including slots and tables games, can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueTable GamesSlots
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$13.7 million$2.7 million$11 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$7.9 million$3.8 million$4.1 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$5.2 million$2.4 million$2.8 million
Penn National (Hollywood)$4.6 million$490,000$4.1 million
Parx Casino$4.1 million$300,000$3.8 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$1.8 million$650,000$1.2 million
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$210,000$100,000$110,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$230,000N/A$230,000
Penn National (DraftKings)$30,000-$160$30,000
Totals:$37.8 million$10.5 million$27.3 million

Sports and daily fantasy wagering down, truck terminals closed

Online sports wagering suffered because so few sports continued in March.

Total sports wagering revenue in April from 13 retail and nine online outlets was $2.9 million58% lower than March’s total of $6.9 million.

Some retail books even operated in the negative after paying off previous winners.

Video gaming terminals at truck stops were idle due to the virus and without any revenue during April.

And finally, daily fantasy contests revenue was $167,000 in April, a decrease of 91% year over year compared to April 2019, when revenue was $1.9 million.

Unfortunate gaming revenue trends to continue

So far, there is no announced reopening plan for any brick-and-mortar casino, even those in areas less affected by COVID-19. With most mainstream sports still forming their own plans to return, it’s likely that gaming revenue streams won’t bounce back for some time.

When casinos do reopen, it will be in a phased process, according to the governor’s color-coded reopening scheme. It will also likely happen gradually, starting out with limited capacity and possibly requiring reservations in advance.

As a result, May revenue numbers should follow the same basic patterns that appeared in April. Unfortunately, the same might go for June. And PA gaming companies are sure to feel these economic effects long after the casinos reopen.

DraftKings Online Casino Launches In Pennsylvania May 1

DraftKings online casino launched in Pennsylvania on May 1. Find out what games and features you can expect from the 10th casino to launch in the state.

T-minus three … two … one!

Just like that, DraftKings continues its ascent in the iGaming industry. Last Friday, the online sportsbook and daily fantasy sports operator officially became a publicly traded company with the DKNG ticker symbol on Nasdaq.

Following that, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) officially green-lit the soft launch of DraftKings during its meeting Wednesday.

Following a successful mandated testing period, the DraftKings online casino is officially launched as of May 1. It is the 10th online casino offering in the state.

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About DraftKings PA online casino

You can access the DraftKings PA online casino via desktop browsers as well as iOS or Android mobile devices.

Moreover, if you already have an account with the DraftKings sportsbook in PA, you can use your preexisting account and funds.

DraftKings PA online casino launched with 27 slots (from IGT), video poker and table games including blackjack and roulette. The company eventually plans to offer 280 games, which will be rolled out gradually.

In New Jersey, DraftKings also offers Live Dealer casino games. A DraftKings representative confirmed that Live Dealer games will be offered at its PA casino in the future, saying:

“While we do not have an exact time frame, all 280 options will follow quickly after launch, including those that feature a live dealer and those that are DraftKings branded.”

The rep also shared that casino players will be able to customize the felt design for table games with options such as sports and holiday themes.

Growing the DraftKings brand

DraftKings first built its name on becoming one of the top daily fantasy sports operators. Then the company took steps to be publicly traded. Now it can offer not just sports betting but online casinos, too.

DraftKings Chief Compliance Officer Tim Dent issued a statement Wednesday morning that said:

“DraftKings appreciates the collaborative working relationship we have established with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and thanks them for their thoughtful leadership in creating a consumer-focused, competitive iGaming market. We look forward to successfully completing the soft launch phase of the process and receiving our iGaming license so that we can be fully operational in Pennsylvania on May 1.”

Currently, the DraftKings online sportsbook partners with The Meadows in Pennsylvania, but The Meadows does not own an online casino license. For that reason, DraftKings will operate under the Hollywood Casino online gaming license; Hollywood is another property owned by Penn National.

This is possible even though Hollywood already has an online casino app. PA gaming regulations allow for multiple online casino skins under a single operator license. With the market-access deal between Penn and DraftKings, Hollywood is the obvious choice for DraftKings’ land-based casino partner.

DraftKings poised to gain strong market share of PA iGaming market

With the approval by the PGCB, DraftKings becomes the 10th online casino to enter the PA market. While it may be argued that DraftKings is entering a saturated PA online casino market, it seems that the operator is poised to make an immediate and sizable impact in Pennsylvania for various reasons.

First, brick-and-mortar casinos closed in March, which resulted in a record month for online gaming revenue. With land-based casinos remaining closed for the foreseeable future, it seems logical that the timing of the DraftKings launch in PA will only spell success.

Second, the DraftKings online sportsbook only entered the PA market in November 2019. However, within two months, the relative newcomer was already the second-largest online sportsbook, behind only FanDuel.

Despite being new to Pennsylvania, DraftKings already had a well-known brand and an established DFS customer base to build upon.

Now DraftKings will look to leverage those same assets to grab a share of the maturing PA iGaming market.