Live! Online Casino App Launch in PA Precedes Land-Based Openings

PlayLive! Casino has arrived in Pennsylvania months ahead of its brick-and-mortar counterparts. The newest PA online casino will conduct a mandated three-day soft launch on Tuesday, 2 p.m.-midnight, Wednesday 2-midnight and Thursday 12-midnight.

Pending the completion of the test phase and Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approval, the site will operate 24/7 starting Friday, Aug. 14.

Live! online casino app is available on Android and desktop at playlive.com. However it is not yet available in the App Store for iOS.

An iGaming platform coming before the physical casino is a first. The Cordish Gaming Group plans to open Live! Casino Philadelphia and a mini-casino in Westmoreland, PA in 2021.

PlayLive! Casino offerings at launch

The addition of PlayLive! makes PA home to eleven online casinos. To start, it didn’t waste time presenting a substantial (for Pennsylvania) library of games.

It will offer 98 online slot titles, including some popular progressive jackpot slots at launch. Those include Divine Fortune and Mercy of the Gods. Additional popular slot titles include:

Popular slot tables at PlayLive!:

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

Table games:

  • Blackjack
  • Four types of Roulette
  • Baccarat

Video Poker:

  • Game King
  • Deuces Wild
  • Jacks are Better

Live! online casino app promos and rewards

PlayLive!’s new member offer gives 100% bonus on user’s first deposit up to $30 or more, up to $500. When users make a second deposit of $30 or more, they will get 100 free spins. Third deposits of $30 or more are boosted by 50% up to $250.

There is a 20x-playthrough requirement and the offer ends on October 4.

The PlayLive!’s website indicated that Live! Rewards benefits  are coming soon for PlayLive! customers in Pennsylvania. Live! Rewards Club has six tier levels.

GAN and Cordish in PA

In May 2020, GAN announced that Cordish Group chose them to supply the software platform for their new PlayLive! online casino in Pennsylvania. At the time, the anticipated arrival was Fall 2020.

Dermot Smurfit, CEO of GAN commented:

“Bringing Pennsylvania’s newest casino online later this year will be a genuine privilege, and we look forward to supporting their on-property gaming business by leveraging our U.S. patented iBridge Framework, bridging the Internet gambling experience with that of retail gaming. Online will remain the growth driver of this Industry for decades to come, not just in Pennsylvania but across the nation.”

In the still-early stages of the pandemic in May, Cordish seemed to have an eye on blending the online/in-person gaming experience.

Robert J. Norton, President of Cordish Gaming Group said:

“With our established relationship, GAN was the logical provider of our enterprise platform for launching real money Internet gambling and offers Cordish the ability to extend on-property rewards into the online channel, which has been shown to increase loyalty amongst players of simulated Gaming.”

Live! makes a leap into PA

Wind Creek Casino quietly launched its iGaming offering in late July. It left only one PA-based online casino licensee, Live! Casino, to release its product. However, there are two Qualified Gaming Entities (QGEs) approved to apply for iGaming licenses in Pennsylvania. Those are Golden Nugget and MGM, both expected to enter the PA market in the not-too-distant future.

The land-based Live! Casinos and Hotels have locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The flagship Live! Casino & Hotel located in Anne Arundel, Maryland is currently the closest to Pennsylvania. It earned the prestigious AAA Four Diamond rating which goes to hotels that offer the best in hospitality, accommodations and extensive amenities.

Live! is touting its soon-to-open locations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as “first-class, must-see gaming and entertainment destinations.” Cordish also plans to bid on an available mini-casino license at a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting on Sept. 2.

In a late July interview with PlayPennsylvania, Joe Billhimer, the recently appointed executive vice president tasked with helping lead Live!’s expansion into Pennsylvania, talked about how the coronavirus pandemic delayed projected opening dates. He expects Live! Casino Philadelphia, once targeted by the end of 2020, to open in early 2021. The mini-casino in Pittsburgh is expected to welcome guests by “the latter part of the year.”

“The construction companies we are working with took the virus seriously. They did what they could to minimize, but it moved our dates.”

Timeline of iGaming launches in PA

  • 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 2000

Sportsbook coming soon?

In his interview with Play Pennsylvania, Billhimer predicted Live! would have a casino and a sportsbook online by mid-August. The first half of his parlay was correct.

If Live! were to release its sports betting app soon, it would be the tenth in the state.

PA Online casino revenue reaches all-time highs

Pennsylvania’s twelve land-based casinos shut their doors in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first ones didn’t reopen until about three months later on June 9. Rivers Casino Philadelphia was the last to return on July 17. As a part of updated health and safety protocols, all guests and employees must wear masks and casinos are operating at 50% capacity (or less).

Online casinos saw a spike in play in the spring, peaking at record-breaking numbers in May. It remained strong to start the summer. Slot revenue in June was $36.8 million, down just $2 million from May. Table games saw a relatively greater decline, going from $12.4 million in May to $10.0 million in June.

Rivers (SugarHouse and BetRivers) led operators in June with $15 million in total revenue, $13 million coming from slots. FanDuel topped the tables with $3.2 million in revenue. Live! joins a crowded but increasingly healthy market of online gaming in Pennsylvania.

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