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.

Aria Hotel & Casino Approaches Its 10-Year Anniversary

The Aria Hotel & Casino is one of the most popular venues on the Las Vegas Strip. Thousands of visitors to the city check in to this hotel every single week. Soon, Aria will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Aria Hotel & Casino

Fans of this property are excited to see what its owners have in store. Today, we’re going to look at the history of Aria. We’ll also talk about some of the changes that are coming here.

Let’s get into it!

History of Aria in Las Vegas

Back in 2006, officials within MGM Resorts International began looking to open a new major casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Eventually, these officials agreed to open CityCenter, a massive new project that would feature a major shopping center and brand new hotel. Dubai World, a major investment firm, put $2.7 billion into the project.

MGM and Dubai World came up with design plans for Aria Hotel & Casino. It was one of the most ambitious projects in the city’s history.

The Great Recession had an impact on the development of this project. For a time, it seemed like the plans would be scrapped. Finally, construction on Aria began. It eventually opened to the public in December of 2009.

Aria remains one of the best venues on the Las Vegas Strip. It features more than 150,000 square-feet of gaming space, more than 4,000 rooms, and an 182,000 square-foot pool deck. This casino-resort is home to some world-class restaurants and bars, as well.

The 10-year anniversary of this venue is just around the corner. It’s a major accomplishment for one of the city’s most beloved hotel-casinos.

Aria Hotel & Casino is Ready to Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary

It wasn’t easy to open Aria. The construction of this property and the CityCenter project cost $9.2 billion and nearly led to MGM’s bankruptcy. Steve Zanella, president and CEO of Aria, commented on the resort’s history to the media this week.

“It’s a beautiful property. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years,” he said. “You’d have people buying up and going to places they wouldn’t be able to go before the recession. You still had the visitation, it’s just what people were interested in buying (that changed). Instead of having that extra appetizer, that extra cocktail or going to the club, it’s like, ‘OK, I still want to have the getaway, but I’m just going to pull back on my budget.” 

Zanella believes Aria represented a major change for the city. Instead of properties such as Excalibur and Luxor, it had no real theme. Before long, several similar properties began opening up in this city.

The hotel-casino’s president also claims that things are running smoothly right now. In 2018, it reported revenue earnings of $138 million, five million more than the year before.

Unfortunately, Aria Hotel & Casino doesn’t have any major plans for its 10-year anniversary.

Aria Continues to Expand Its Poker Room

Not long after Aria opened up, it became one of the hottest new venues for poker fans. It’s “given people a secondary option,” claimed professional poker player Daniel Negreanu. Over the years, many different poker rooms have been forced to close down in Las Vegas.

Aria’s however, has expanded over the years.

It’s grown to become the city’s most popular venue to play poker. Many praise the fantastic food and service. Aria Hotel & Casino even allows players to order food while in the middle of a game.

Andrew Neeme, a professional poker player who spends much of his time inside Aria, commented on the property to the media.

“A lot of times a poker room will be an afterthought in the design of a casino,” Neeme said. “It’s often viewed as more of an amenity rather than a feature of a property. You can tell that the poker room at the Aria was carefully considered, from its location and design, to its staffing, and overall concept that this is designed to be a top tier poker experience.”

It’s things like this that have helped Aria become so successful. If you’re in Las Vegas, make sure to check it out for yourself.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few weeks!