GLPI Completes Acquisition of Live! Maryland Casino

Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland Logo and Property Images

Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. announced the completion of its purchase of the Live! Casino Maryland from The Cordish Companies for $1.14 billion.

The deal doesn’t just involve the land and real estate assets of Live! Casino Maryland but also a partnership for future casino development projects with The Cordish Companies and potential financing partnerships between the two companies.

In a statement GLPI chairman and CEO Peter Carlino said:

“We are delighted to add Live! Maryland to our portfolio, further diversify our roster of leading operators, and gain additional access to the rapidly growing Baltimore-Washington corridor via a truly world-class property. The Cordish Companies is world renowned for creating large-scale experiential real estate projects, casinos, hospitality and entertainment districts and we believe their Live! brand and their Live! Maryland together exemplify their track record of development and operating success.”

Single Asset Triple Net Lease

According to GLPI, the transaction was funded with the assumption of the existing $363 million debt of The Cordish Companies, the issuance of 4.35 million units of operating partnership units worth $200 million, and from cash generated via the company’s recent issuance of senior unsecured notes and common stock.

Aside from the purchase of Live! Maryland’s real estate assets, GLPI also entered into a ‘single asset triple net lease’ with The Cordish Companies that would ensure the uninterrupted ownership, control, and operations management of the Maryland gaming property.

The lease has a current annual value of $75 million and an initial term of 39 years and a maximum term of 60 years, inclusive of tenant renewal options and a fixed annual lease escalation of 1.75% which starts on the third year of the lease.

GLPI Also Poised to Acquire Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Pittsburgh

Live! Maryland is located on a 36.4 acre land adjacent to the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover. The casino has a total of 4,000 slot machines and electronic casino games plus 200 live table games including a poker room with 52 tables.

The property also has a retail sportsbook, a parking area for more than 7,000 vehicles in a six-storey parking garage, a 310-room hotel, state-of-the-art live entertainment venue, and restaurants like Bobby’s Burger Palace, The Cheesecake Factory, and The Prime Rib.

After completing the purchase of Live! Maryland, GLPI said that it is on track to complete the previously announced acquisition of the real estate assets of two more casino properties owned by The Cordish Companies: Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Casino Pittsburgh. The transactions are expected to be completed early this year, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing.

Poker Room to Open at Live!Casino Pittsburgh Next Year

Full Poker Room on Left Empty Poker Room on Right
Officials at Live!Casino Pittsburgh in Hempfield’s Westmoreland Mall announced plans to open a seven-table poker room.

The 1,400 square feet poker room will be built at the banquet space initially intended for private meetings and special events. It is located right next to the sports-themed restaurant Sports & Social Steel City and is expected to open next year, pending approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Said General Manager Sean Sullivan in a press release:

“Our new poker room will be exciting and provide our guests with yet another reason to enjoy their time with us at Live! Casino.”

Free Poker Dealer Classes

In preparation for the opening of the said poker room, Live! Casino Pittsburgh will be holding free poker dealer classes that will start next Monday at the casino’s school which is located at the former Sears wing of the mall. According to the casino, classes will run for six weeks from Mondays to Fridays at either 10am to 2pm or 6 pm to 10pm.

Individuals who will complete the poker dealer courses will then be eligible to apply and interviews for full-time jobs at the upcoming poker room. Per Live! Casino, their soon-to-open poker room will create at least 25 full-time jobs.

First of 4 Mini Casinos Approved in 2018 to Open

The announcement of the poker room comes almost one year after Live!Casino became the first of the four Category 4 licenses approved by the Commonwealth in 2018 to launch. The $150M property located at the former Bon-Ton storefront at the mall is considered a “mini” casino because its license allows it to operate only up to 750 slot machines and up to 40 gaming tables.

The property is owned by the Cordish Group of Companies, a real estate, development, entertainment, and casino company founded in 1910. Its vast portfolio includes the Seminole Hard Rock Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida. Along with its Greensburg property, the company owns two more Live! Casinos in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Both properties have existing poker rooms.

Region’s Poker Rooms Have Logged Behind

Although Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs are the home of several top poker stars like Dewey Tomko and Matt Berkey, the region’s poker rooms have logged behind when compared to places like Florida and Philadelphia.Only 10 of the 14 land based casinos across the state currently offer poker games to their customers.

Rivers is the largest poker room in the region with 30 tables. Before the pandemic, it held two tournaments per day with bigger events on weekends. But while poker rooms in Philly have resumed tournament, Rivers has not. Hollywood Park at the Meadows has 14 tables but has no immediate plans to resume its daily tournaments.

More Information on the Live! Casino in Philadelphia is Coming Out

Pennsylvania Casinos

Pennsylvania is home to one of the largest, most successful casino industries in the country. There is one massive new casino-resort now scheduled to open its doors in Pennsylvania. This week, we received more information about Live! Casino in Philadelphia.

This is set to be one of the biggest casino-resorts ever opened in Pennsylvania. Many feel it will help to significantly boost tourism into the state. Now is a great time to discuss the details of this exciting new gaming property.

Let’s get into it!

Pennsylvania’s Casino Industry Has Finally Reopened

The casino industry in Pennsylvania was completely shut down back in March. This proved to be extremely difficult for the casino companies based here. Finally, after several months, state leaders gave permission for these casinos to open back up.

For a time, things were improving here. Casinos were operating at limited capacity and began seeing their revenue earnings increase. It wasn’t perfect, yet the casinos in Pennsylvania seemed to be staying afloat.

This only lasted for so long. In December, news broke that state officials were ordering all casinos to temporarily shut down once again. It was a huge blow for the owners of these venues and the thousands of workers inside them.

On Monday, Pennsylvania’s casino industry was finally given permission to reopen. Moving forward, these properties will operate at a limited capacity and will need to implement more intense health regulations. Hope is that enough money is made to keep these casinos operational.

The casino industry is hurting around the United States. No one seems to know when things will begin to truly improve. Interestingly, there are still several new casino-resorts scheduled to open their doors in Pennsylvania in the near future.

That includes Live! Casino and Hotel. We’re now beginning to hear more information about this exciting new gambling venue.

The Opening Date for Live! Casino in Philadelphia Has Been Revealed

As we mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania is home to a large and rapidly-expanding casino industry. We’ve seen several casinos open their doors here over the past few years. More will begin operating here in the future!

The Live! Casino in Philadelphia is one of the most-anticipated casinos ever opened in Pennsylvania. We’re now hearing about when this property will finally open! New reports claim that this venue is set to first open its doors to guests on January 19. That will come before an official grand opening on February 11.

Joe Billhimer, Executive Vice President of Cordish Gaming Group, gave a statement to the media about this casino finally opening.

“We are beyond excited to go Live! in Philadelphia and bring this world-class gaming and entertainment destination to the heart of the Stadium District,” Billhimer said. “What we have created here is unrivaled anywhere in the country. Sports fans, foodies, gaming enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a night of fun and excitement only has to make one stop to experience it all.”

Just about everyone is excited to see this casino open its doors. It will feature more than 2,000 slot games, 150 table games, and a 29-table poker room. The casino will also be home to a variety of dining and entertainment options.

If you’re located near the Philadelphia area, make sure to check this casino out! Many believe it’s the best new gaming property in the state.

Major Las Vegas Property Sales Are on the Horizon

Las Vegas remains the world’s biggest casino destination. There are a huge number of world-class gambling venues located in this city. Unfortunately, the casino industry here has seen massive dips in revenue throughout the year.

As a result, several casino companies have announced they plan to sell some of their casinos in the city. That includes Las Vegas Sands. The Sheldon Adelson-run gambling venue claims it’s interested in putting both The Venetian and The Palazzo up for sale.

Many were surprised at this news. These venues are known for being two of the most popular ones in Las Vegas. Under normal circumstances, these venues help to bring LVS a massive amount of revenue every month.

We’re in unprecedented times, though. It seems that Las Vegas Sands simply wants to cut its losses and get rid of some of its biggest gambling venues. It’s unclear exactly how much LVS plans to sell these casino-resorts for.

It seems that Hard Rock International is interested in purchasing this property. Nothing has been made official, though. We’ll be sure to offer more information on these sales over the next few months.

Are you excited to see Live! Casino in Philadelphia finally open? Let us know in the comments section below!

Live! Casino Pittsburgh Set to Open on November 24th

Roulette Wheel and Row of Slot Machines

The $150M Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is scheduled to open on Thanksgiving weekend.

According to a press release, the new Pittsburgh casino is slated for a November 24th opening, pending the approval of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board. Prior to the opening, Live! Pittsburgh will host a few invitation-only charity events on November 14-15, 2020 to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank and Sage’s Army. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is also being planned for November 17th.

Said Live! Casino General Manager Sean Sulllivan:

“We’re going ‘Live!’ to the general public on November 24th. Live! Casino is the latest world-class venue to be opened by The Cordish Companies. It’s going to up the ante on entertainment for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh region.”

Cordish Group’s $40.1M Bid

It can be recalled that the Cordish Group won a Category 4 satellite license during the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s second auction round in January 2018. The Baltimore-based company and gaming firm beat its competitors with a $40.1M bid.
Almost three years later, the Live! Casino in Pittsburgh is set to open.

The project employed a total of 960 people during its construction phase and is expected to hire 500 employees when it commences operations. The new Pittsburgh casino is expected to be worth $188M in economic impact for the state.

Former Bon-Ton Department Store

Live! Casino Pittsburgh is located in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, some 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. It is built in the former Bon-Ton Department Store at Westmoreland Mall. The 100,000 square foot facility will host 750 slot machines, 30 gaming tables, It also has a 455-seat sportsbook operated by FanDuel.

The 22,000 square foot Sports & Social Steel City will be the main venue for dining and entertainment. The two level venue hasa 45-foot LED video screen and will host a variety of interactive social games like bowling, golf simulator, ping pong, darts, & more. It will also have a 7,000 square foot of space available for social and corporate gatherings. Among the restaurants that will open is Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen+Bar.

COVID-19 Preparations

The new Pittsburgh casino opens at a very interesting time when some businesses have closed and other are incurring heavy losses due to the pandemic. But Live! Casino Pittsburgh it determined to make it $150M project work.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh will adapt the “Play it Safe” COVID-19 response strategy that is currently employed at the Live!Casino Maryland. The plan focuses on the wearing of face masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and continuous cleaning of high-traffic areas, slot machines and gaming tables.