Cordish Companies is a group based in Baltimore that operates the Live! Casino brand. They currently building casino gaming venues near Pittsburgh and next to the sports stadiums in Philadelphia. The company is quite busy but continue to look ahead towards new ventures. They have recently announced the decision to try for a third property in Pennsylvania.
New Mini-Casino License
According to information received by PlayPennsylvania, a spokesperson for the company stated the Cordish Companies plans to bid for a mini casino license on September 2. This date marks the first time the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will be offering licensing once again for the mini-casinos.
The board announced on July 8 that they are auctioning off a license that was previously obtained by the Mount Airy Casino. The brand purchased the license for just over $21 million in early 2018. They were eventually denied approval due to not being able to financially cover the new property. The company will receive a 75% refund on that amount.
While the company cites financial issues, reports have surfaced that the delay could be due to an investigation involving Louis DeNaples, the former owner of Mount Airy. He reportedly attended planning meetings involving the casino site and had alleged ties to the mob. He has since been banned from working with the company.
For the Cordish Companies, they are now working on the Live! Casino Pittsburgh, a venue set to take place in a former mall. Work on the project had stopped for about two months when the virus pandemic first stated. However, the company says the project is still on track to be completed this fall.
When the casino is open, it will be the first Category 4 casino to be opened in the state. The smaller casinos were legalized in 2017 and it has taken quite some time for the licensing process to be completed as well as for venues to be constructed.
In 2017, lawmakers approved the expansion of mini casinos with up to 10 licenses on offer. However, interest was only shown by operators for the first five licenses.
How the Other Mini Casinos are Faring
Alongside the Cordish Companies, there are other operators working to complete their smaller venues as well. Penn National Gaming has two licenses, one for a casino in York and the other in Morgantown. The process of these venues was slowed due to the pandemic. They have yet to resume construction. The company is unsure when they will begin again. However, Penn National did say they are not bidding on a new license.
Parx Casino is also working on a smaller venue, a casino to be located in Shippensburg. However, the site was found to be unsuitable due to geological problems. Parx has yet to name a new site.
The Live! Casino property on the western side of the site is moving along. the property will offer a retail sportsbook as well as 750 slots. Included in the mix will be 30 live-action table games.
According to Cordish Companies, the property will be a first-class facility. It will have the look and feel of a full service casino. They will offer not only gaming but also food and entertainment amenities.