Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia

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Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia rendering.jpg
Architectural rendering of the planned casino
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is located in Pennsylvania
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is located in the US
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia
Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia (the US)
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Address 900 Packer Avenue
Opening date2020 (planned)
No. of rooms240 (planned)
OwnerCordish Companies & Greenwood Racing
Coordinates39°54′34″N 75°09′53″W / 39.909406°N 75.164730°W / 39.909406; -75.164730

Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is a planned casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, expected to open in 2020. It is planned to have 240 hotel rooms, 2,000 slot machines, and 125 table games.[1] It is being developed by a joint venture of The Cordish Companies and Greenwood Racing. Cordish also operates Xfinity Live! Philadelphia nearby.[2]


The casino is planned to incorporate an existing Holiday Inn hotel in the city's stadium district. The hotel was built by a group led by Bankers Securities Corp. at a cost of $7 million, and opened in 1974 as the Philadelphia Hilton Inn.[3] In 1976, local wine distributor Armand Ceritano acquired a controlling stake in the hotel, which had operated at a steep loss and was facing foreclosure.[4][5] Ceritano put the hotel into bankruptcy the following year and was forced out.[6] In 1985, it was acquired by Connecticut-based Colonial Real Estate.[7] Colonial collapsed in the early 1990s, causing the hotel to go into bankruptcy again and lose its franchise agreement with Hilton, after which it was renamed as the Philadelphia Court Hotel.[7] In 1993, it was purchased by an investment group led by former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, and became a Holiday Inn.[8]

In 2004, Pennsylvania legalized casinos, authorizing up to 14 gaming licenses to be issued statewide, with two of them allocated to stand-alone casinos to be built in Philadelphia.[9] The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded those two licenses to SugarHouse Casino and Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia, but Foxwoods failed to obtain financing for its construction, and its license was revoked in 2010.[10][11] The license remained in limbo for two years as Foxwoods unsuccessfully appealed the decision, and legislators then debated putting the license up for statewide bid.[12] In July 2012, the Board opened a new round of applications for the second Philadelphia casino license.[12]

Cordish and Greenwood began evaluating sites shortly after the opening of the application process.[13] In November 2012, they announced their proposal for a hotel-casino built around the Holiday Inn.[13] It was one of six applications submitted to the Board.[14] After two of the applicants withdrew, the Board selected the Cordish/Greenwood proposal as the best of the four remaining bids in November 2014.[15][16]

The Board's decision was appealed by the other three applicants and by the competing SugarHouse Casino, who charged that the Board did not properly consider all the factors required by law.[17] The project also faced opposition from African-American community groups because of allegations of racial discrimination at other Cordish properties;[18][19] those concerns were largely defused after Cordish signed a community benefits agreement promising that much of the casino's hiring and contracting would go to minorities.[20][21]

The project remained stalled in court for three years, because of claims that it would run afoul of a state law prohibiting any casino owner from owning more than a one-third interest in another casino within the state; Greenwood principal Bob Manoukian already owned a majority share of the Parx Casino, and he and his sons together would own a half interest in the Live! casino.[22][23] The issue became moot in October 2017 when the state enacted a gaming expansion law that lifted the prohibition of multiple casino ownership.[23] The lawsuit was promptly dropped, and Cordish stated that construction would begin in 2018, with completion planned for 2020.[23]

Cordish and Greenwood closed on their purchase of the site in January 2018 for $37 million.[24] Some demolition work at the site was performed later that year.[25] In November 2018, Cordish announced that it would buy out Greenwood's interests, taking full ownership of the project.[25] They also stated that the hotel tower would be demolished instead of renovated; as the project had evolved, they had decided that the tower's position at the center of the site would conflict with plans for an expansive casino floor.[26]


  1. ^ "Philadelphia's second casino passes major hurdle, SugarHouse drops appeal: Report". Philadelphia Business Journal. November 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  2. ^ Lloyd, Linda (November 2, 2017). "Big win for a 2nd Philly casino: SugarHouse drops its objections". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  3. ^ Oscar B. Teller (April 14, 1974). "Mayor to open new hotel". Philadelphia Inquirer – via
  4. ^ "Hilton sold to Ceritano". Philadelphia Inquirer. December 31, 1976 – via
  5. ^ Andrea Knox (July 24, 1977). "The wine man tries to charm the wolves". Philadelphia Inquirer – via
  6. ^ Dick Pothier (September 30, 1977). "Ceritano is barred from hotel". Philadelphia Inquirer – via
  7. ^ a b Rose DeWolf (March 31, 1993). "QB plays hardball with hotel's staff". Philadelphia Daily News – via NewsBank.
  8. ^ Tom Belden (May 28, 1993). "Hotel near the Vet to be a Holiday Inn". Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  9. ^ "Pennsylvania's newly minted slots law". Philadelphia Daily News. July 6, 2004 – via NewsBank.
  10. ^ Jeff Shields; Angela Couloumbis (December 21, 2006). "On the waterfront: Foxwoods and SugarHouse win city slots licenses". Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  11. ^ Donald Wittkowski (December 16, 2010). "Gambling panel revokes license for proposed Foxwoods casino project in Philadelphia". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  12. ^ a b Suzette Parmley; Troy Graham (July 11, 2012). "Philadelphia gets to keep its casino license". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  13. ^ a b Suzette Parmley (November 2, 2012). "Group eyes casino-hotel at sports complex's Holiday Inn". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  14. ^ Jennifer Lin (November 16, 2012). "Sixth group applies for license to open Phila. casino". Philadelphia Inquirer – via NewsBank.
  15. ^ Harold Brubaker (November 18, 2014). "For 2d Phila. casino license, expect a quick meeting". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  16. ^ Sean Carlin; Marc Levy (November 18, 2014). "Stadium-district casino wins new Philly license". Washington Times. AP. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  17. ^ Jeff Gelles (December 19, 2014). "Challenge in works on second casino license". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  18. ^ Mensah M. Dean (November 11, 2015). "African-American leaders to air concerns about casino company". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  19. ^ Mensah M. Dean (October 15, 2015). "Casino company cultivating black friends in high places following claims of racism". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  20. ^ Harold Brubaker (November 13, 2015). "Casino developers win support of five community groups". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  21. ^ Ayana Jones (November 14, 2015). "City sweetens hand in deal with casino developers". Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  22. ^ Harold Brubaker (November 30, 2016). "South Philly casino still stalled in court -- two years after award". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  23. ^ a b c Linda Loyd (November 2, 2017). "Big win for a 2nd Philly casino: SugarHouse drops its objections". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  24. ^ Natalie Kostelni (March 2, 2018). "Live! Hotel and Casino site traded for more than $35M". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  25. ^ a b Andrew Maykuth (November 21, 2018). "Cordish acquires 100% control of Philly stadium casino project". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  26. ^ Andrew Maykuth (November 28, 2018). "Long-delayed Philly stadium casino sets 2020 target for start-up". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-12-08.