Philadelphia Phillies baseball stadium

Philly Live! Project Plans To Merge Entertainment, Sports, And Gambling

Construction of a second casino in the City of Brotherly Love will begin in 2018. In fact, plans are to open the doors to the gaming, entertainment and sports destination in 2020.

However, the $600 million gambling and entertainment complex project, planned for an existing Holiday Inn hotel site in South Philadelphia’s Stadium District, was almost shut down before it ever opened up.

Stadium Casino, LLC, a partnership between Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, owners of the state’s highest-grossing gambling complex, Parx Casino and Racing, and Cordish Companies, which runs the Live!-branded casinos, hotels, and entertainment venues across the country, was granted a casino license for the project in November 2014.

The license became available in 2012 after the Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia project failed to obtain financing. It was then unsuccessful in appealing the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) decision to revoke the license.

Stadium Casino, LLC won a statewide bid for this second Philadelphia casino license. SugarHouse Casino along the Delaware River in the city’s Fishtown neighborhood owns the first.

Stadium Casino license challenged

However, three other applicants and SugarHouse decided to fight the board’s decision to grant the license to Stadium Casino.

The project spent the next three years stuck in court with opponents claiming Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment owner Bob Manoukian’s interest in Parx prohibited him from owning more than a one-third of another Pennsylvania casino in accordance with state law.

However, the state repealed the casino ownership laws as a part of its new gambling expansion laws passed in October 2017. Opponents immediately dropped the lawsuits. The Philadelphia Live! Hotel and Casino project got re-branded Stadium Casino, then suddenly got the green light again.

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Demolition begins

Stadium Casino, LLC received permits from the city’s Department of Licensing & Inspections to demolish the Holiday Inn at 900 Packer Ave. in January 2018. The hotel sits in close proximity to Lincoln Financial Field where the Philadelphia Eagles play, the Wells Fargo Center arena, home of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Phillies’ home stadium.

The permit is a clear indication the project is finally moving forward. Plus, Stadium Casino, LLC has made it clear it plans to open the doors sometime in 2020.

Stadium Casino will feature a 100,000 square-foot casino with 2,000 slot machines and 150 table games. Plus, it will include a 30-table-plus poker room.

Plans also include a 240-room boutique hotel with a pool, spa, and fitness center. Additionally, there will be six locally and nationally-recognized restaurants and multiple nightclubs. Plus, a 10,000-square-foot music and entertainment venue with a rooftop party deck.

There is also a 2,600-space self-parking garage going up on the property.

A gaming, resort, entertainment and sports destination

Ultimately, Stadium Casino, LLC is building a world-class hotel-casino complex to complement the existing stadium district venues. Additionally, the company expects the entertainment complex with gambling, dining, music venue and hotel will draw 4 million visitors annually.

Stadium Casino wants to be a major eastern US gaming, resort, and entertainment destination. Plus, it aims to combine integrated casino, hotel, and entertainment facilities.

Stadium Casino, LLC is expecting the 8 million people who already visit the stadium district to patronize the facility. Plus, it also believes it will be a huge draw for gamblers from as far away as South New Jersey.

Stadium Casino, LLC says the project will be the first comprehensive gaming, resort, entertainment, and sports destination in the United States.

Photo by Frank Romeo /