When Did Rivers Casino Open: A Comprehensive Guide to the Casino’s Development, Launch, and Impact


If you’re a fan of gambling or entertainment in the Pittsburgh area, chances are you’re familiar with Rivers Casino. This popular gaming destination has become a fixture in the local community, attracting visitors from near and far with its wide range of gaming options, dining experiences, and entertainment events. But when did Rivers Casino first open its doors, and how did it become the powerhouse that it is today? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history of Rivers Casino, exploring everything from its earliest planning stages to its current status as one of Pittsburgh’s top attractions. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, a seasoned patron, or simply curious about the casino’s backstory, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know.

A Timeline of Rivers Casino: From Inception to Opening Day

The story of Rivers Casino begins in the mid-2000s, when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board first approved the construction of new casinos in the state. Several developers submitted proposals for a casino in Pittsburgh, but ultimately, Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming was selected as the operator. With financing secured and preliminary plans in place, construction on Rivers Casino began in mid-2008. Over the course of the next year and a half, the casino gradually took shape, with workers building out the gaming floor, restaurants, bars, and other amenities. Finally, in August of 2009, Rivers Casino officially opened for business.

While the development and construction process was generally smooth, there were a few bumps along the road. For example, local residents expressed concerns about the impact that the casino would have on traffic in the surrounding area, and there were also debates about how the casino’s tax revenue should be allocated. However, by and large, the process went according to plan, and the casino opened on-time and fully operational.

Behind the Scenes: The Making of Rivers Casino
Behind the Scenes: The Making of Rivers Casino

Behind the Scenes: The Making of Rivers Casino

Of course, opening a casino is no easy feat – even once the construction stage is complete. Before Rivers Casino could open its doors to the public, the team had to navigate a complex array of regulations, permits, and licenses. This included everything from obtaining a gaming license from the state to securing permission from local authorities to sell alcohol on the premises. Additionally, the team also had to design and build the various facilities within the casino, from the gaming floor to the restaurants to the parking garage.

Perhaps most significantly, the team had to hire and train an entire staff to run the casino. As anyone who has worked in the hospitality industry knows, this is no small task – and when you’re opening an operation as large and complex as a casino, it becomes all the more challenging. Nevertheless, the Rivers Casino team was up to the task, recruiting hundreds of employees to handle everything from security to guest services to food and beverage operations.

In the months leading up to the opening, the casino underwent extensive testing and preparation to ensure that everything was running smoothly. This included everything from running simulations of emergency situations to training dealers and other staff members on the various games and equipment used throughout the casino. Finally, in August of 2009, the casino was ready to open its doors to the public – and the rest, as they say, is history.

What to Expect at Rivers Casino: A Guide for First-Time Visitors

If you’ve never been to Rivers Casino before, you might be wondering what to expect. Fortunately, the casino is relatively easy to navigate, with plenty of signage and helpful staff to guide you along the way. When you first arrive, you’ll need to sign up for a rewards program, which allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for various perks and prizes. From there, you might want to check out the casino’s gaming options, which include everything from slot machines to table games like blackjack, craps, and roulette. Keep in mind that the minimum bets for table games can vary depending on the day and time, so be sure to check the signage or ask a dealer before you sit down to play.

When it comes to dining and entertainment, Rivers Casino offers a range of options to suit various tastes and budgets. Some popular choices include the Wheelhouse Bar & Grill, which serves up classic American fare and craft beers, and the Grand View Buffet, which offers a wide range of all-you-can-eat options. Additionally, the casino regularly hosts live music events, comedy shows, and other performances, so be sure to check the schedule before you visit.

The Economic Impact of Rivers Casino: One Year Later
The Economic Impact of Rivers Casino: One Year Later

The Economic Impact of Rivers Casino: One Year Later

Since its opening in 2009, Rivers Casino has had a significant impact on the Pittsburgh area economy. In its first year of operation alone, the casino generated over $200 million in revenue, and it has continued to be a major source of revenue for the region ever since. Additionally, the casino has created hundreds of jobs in fields ranging from hospitality to finance to security. And while there have certainly been some negative impacts as well – such as increased traffic and concerns about gambling addiction – overall, the casino has been widely seen as a positive force for the local economy.

With that said, it’s worth noting that the casino’s impact hasn’t been uniform across the board. Some local businesses have reported seeing fewer customers since the casino opened, while others have seen increased traffic and sales. Additionally, some residents have expressed concern about the casino’s impact on nearby neighborhoods, particularly when it comes to noise and traffic. Nevertheless, most stakeholders seem to agree that Rivers Casino has been a net positive for the area, and it remains one of the city’s most popular destinations for visitors and locals alike.

From Slot Machines to Sports Betting: How Rivers Casino Has Expanded Since Opening Day
From Slot Machines to Sports Betting: How Rivers Casino Has Expanded Since Opening Day

From Slot Machines to Sports Betting: How Rivers Casino Has Expanded Since Opening Day

Since opening its doors in 2009, Rivers Casino has continued to evolve and grow, adding new amenities and gaming options along the way. One of the biggest expansions in recent years has been the introduction of sports betting, which became legal in Pennsylvania in 2018. In 2019, Rivers Casino opened a new sportsbook on the casino floor, allowing patrons to place bets on a wide range of sporting events, from football to basketball to baseball and more. Additionally, the casino has expanded its dining options, adding new restaurants and bars to cater to a diverse range of tastes and dietary preferences.

Looking ahead, it’s clear that Rivers Casino will continue to be a major player in the Pittsburgh entertainment landscape. With a commitment to innovation, a focus on customer satisfaction, and a track record of success, the casino is poised to remain a popular destination for years to come.


So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to the history, development, and impact of Rivers Casino. Whether you’re a seasoned patron or a first-time visitor, we hope that this article has provided you with some valuable insights and information. And while the casino’s backstory is certainly interesting, perhaps the most exciting thing about Rivers Casino is what’s yet to come. With new expansions and innovations on the horizon, the casino is sure to remain a top destination for anyone looking for fun, excitement, and entertainment in the Pittsburgh area.

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