Philadelphia Casino Resorts: Where to Stay and Play

PHILADELPHIA - For years, Las Vegas, Nevada, dominated the casino industry in America. However, by the late 1970s, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, became the first legal casino hotel outside Las Vegas.

Philadelphia Casino Resorts: Where to Stay and Play

Between 2004 and 2006, Pennsylvania legalized slots and table games at standalone casinos. The state’s gaming industry before then only allowed betting on horse racing. Racinos came next with slots and table games attached to horse tracks.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs opened in Wilkes-Barre as the state’s first casino in November 2006. Parx Casino opened three years later in Bensalem.

In September 2010, SugarHouse became the first casino in Philadelphia. As part of its opening, there were plans to build a luxury hotel.

Casino resorts are a relatively new industry in The City of Brotherly Love.

Let’s take a closer look at where to stay and play.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia

The Rivers Casino Philadelphia is northeast of Center City, in the Fishtown neighborhood. The casino offers over 1,500 slots, including progressive jackpots. There are also 72 table games, like roulette, craps, blackjack, baccarat, and poker.

The BetRivers Sportsbook features a 5,700-square-foot interior with an HD video wall. There are six betting windows and 33 self-service kiosks.

Dining options at Rivers Casino Philadelphia include Jack’s Bar + Grill, Martorano’s Prime, and Geno’s Steaks.

While the casino offers free parking, the one thing it needs is a hotel.

In July 2023, Rivers Casino Philadelphia announced plans for “Riversuites,” an upscale casino hotel. The four-floor, 62-suite boutique luxury hotel could start accepting reservations by the fall.

As a unique waterfront hotel, each suite will offer 854 to 2,266 square feet of space, including a full kitchen. Guests may choose from one, two, and three-bedroom options. Apartment-style rooms come with patios as bi-level lofts.

The Riversuites hotel will become part of The Battery—a $154 million redevelopment project that includes over 170 apartments and office and event spaces.

The Battery is less than a ten-minute walk from the Rivers Casino Philadelphia. There will be 24/7 complimentary shuttle service, security, and valet parking.

Look for the new hotel to open by the end of the year.

Live! Casino & Hotel and Online Casinos

The Live! Casino & Hotel opened in South Philadelphia in January 2021. In a rare occurrence, the PlayLive! brand launched an online casino in the previous year.

The wave of legal gambling online began in PA in October 2017. Less than six years later, the state offers nearly two dozen options for gambling at online casinos.

Launching an online casino before opening a land-based location is unusual for the legal market.

Players at offshore gambling sites might be familiar with online-only platforms. Consulting casino reviews online helps to find reputable options.

The legal market in the U.S. also permits free mobile apps for iOS and Android users. As the first legal online casino to launch for a brick-and-mortar location, mobile betting continues to steer the worldwide gaming industry.

The PlayLive! online casino introduced players to the Live! Casino brand.

Located on Packer Avenue in the heart of Philly’s sports teams, the hotel at Live! Casino Philadelphia offers more than 200 rooms and 30 suites.

Five-star accommodations include the following:

  • Deluxe King
  • Deluxe Double Queen
  • Signature Suite
  • Studio Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Penthouse

Guests at the hotel get access to the following amenities:

  • 55’’ and 65’’ HD TVs
  • High-speed Internet
  • Luxury robes
  • Mini fridge
  • Valet parking
  • And more

Hotel packages include a Live!® Stay & Play Package ($50 Free Slot Play, $50 in dining credit), Live!® Staycation Package and a Live!® Romance Package. A City of Brotherly Love Package offers $75 in dining credit and a third night for free after booking two nights.

The Live! Casino features over 140 table games and 2,000 slots. There’s also a FanDuel sportsbook and a poker room.

Parx Casino & Racing

The Parx Casino opened in Bensalem in 2009. As of 2023, the expanded casino is a 260,000-square-foot gaming and entertainment complex 20 minutes north of Center City.

Next to the casino, there’s Parx East—a 280,000-square-foot thoroughbred racetrack that serves as the home of Parx Racing.

There are more than 3,000 slots and 180 table games at the Parx Casino. There’s also a poker room with 48 tables. The Parx Casino Sportsbook also features a 24-hour sports bar with an HD video wall that can play up to 36 games simultaneously.

Dining options include Parxgrill, Foodies, the Liberty Bell Gastropub, and the Xlounge.

In March 2023, Parx Casino and Racing announced plans to construct a 13-story hotel with a rooftop restaurant. With over 300 rooms and a banquet hall, the project includes a walkway to connect the hotel with the casino.

The hotel at Parx Casino & Racing may open to the public in 2025.

The Future of Gambling in Philadelphia

Gambling began in the Keystone State with horse racing in the early 1800s. The state legalized the lottery in 1971. Off-track betting (OTB) parlors became legal in 1988.

In the 2000s, PA legalized slots and table games at racetracks called racinos. By the decade's end, the Philadelphia region opened its first casinos—Parx and SugarHouse.

However, the first casino resort in Philadelphia opened secondary to its online launch. Perhaps the lull in hotels at casinos in the city comes from the popularity of online gambling.

The future of gambling in Philadelphia combines luxury hotels, sportsbooks, and mobile betting options in one of the country’s most vibrant gaming markets.

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