Rivers Casino Philadelphia’s License Renewed at Regulatory Meeting, PA Casinos Fined

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has unanimously voted to renew the Category 2 stand-alone casino license of Sugarhouse HSP Gaming, LP, operator of Rivers Casino Philadelphia, for an additional five-year period.

At Thursday’s PCGB meeting, regulators passed the license renewal for the Philly casino, plus the finalization of fines for various other Pennsylvania casino venues. That included Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Greenwood Gaming, operator of Parx Casino.

The license renewal was approved after a thorough process that included public input hearings and testimonies from various stakeholders, including local government officials, community groups, and the PA State Police.

A further public hearing with board questions for Sugarhouse and Rivers Casino staff was held directly before the vote.

Since its opening in September 2010, as the first casino in the city, Rivers Casino Philadelphia has generated $4,467,382,903 in gross revenue and has returned $1,941,044,345 to the Commonwealth in tax revenue, assessments, and fees. It rebranded from Sugarhouse to Rivers Casino Philadelphia in 2019.

So far in 2023, the total state gambling market, including Pennsylvania online casinos, has been worth some $500 million a month.

Fines Levied by PGCB

The PGCB also used the meeting to approve a total of $73,075 in fines for various gambling operators.

Stadium Casino Westmoreland RE, LLC, operator of Live! Casino Pittsburgh, was fined $30,000 for two instances in which it broke responsible gambling regulations.

The casino allowed two individuals on the Board’s Casino Self-Exclusion List to gain entrance and gamble, and on one occasion, it was found to have allowed an individual under the age of 21 to access the gaming floor and play slot machines.

Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., operator of Parx Casino, was fined $18,075 for failure to submit two license renewal applications in a timely manner.

Rivers Gives and Expands

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, formerly known as SugarHouse Casino, is located on the Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia.

The casino features 1,522 slot machines, 136 table games, and one of the most popular Pennsylvania retail sportsbooks. Across the operation it employs 1,138 persons.

In 2023, the casino also announced an upcoming $7 million expansion, including a 62-room luxury boutique hotel called Riversuites at the Battery. The redevelopment aims to give new life to a disused former power plant on a riverside site near the current casino property.

In addition to its financial contributions, Rivers Casino Philadelphia has also been actively involved in giving back to the local community.

Recently, potentially influenced by the upcoming license renewal vote in PA, Rivers Casinos announced changes to their annual “Rivers Gives” charity initiative. This year, instead of a mandated number of hours split among casinos as they wish, Rivers Casinos employees across its Pennsylvania, Illinois and Virginia casino venues were all given shifts off on October 17.

Staff were allowed to choose various local partner charities to volunteer with over those hours, including health charities, community projects and other nonprofit initiatives.

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