There are a lot of changes taking place at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pennsylvania. The racino has been undergoing renovations for several months to add a sports betting facility. The Meadows is renovating other areas as well to make the racino more inviting to gamblers. Although the State of Pennsylvania was a latecomer to the gambling landscape, it has made up for lost time. The state did not even allow any form of casino gambling until 2006. Now, it is the second highest-grossing gambling market in the United States, second only to Nevada.
Meadows Racetrack and Casino
Currently, the Meadows Racetrack and Casino has slot machines and a harness racing track. Penn National Gaming operates the racino, which is about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Penn National Gaming owns several gaming properties in Pennsylvania. The Meadows opened in 1963. At first, the racetrack took track wagers. Gradually, the racetrack grew to simulcast and pari-mutuel wagering. In 2006, the Meadows became one of the first in the state to offer slot machines. The casino has 350,000 square feet of entertainment. There is a casino with 3,300 slot machines, a bowling center, restaurants, a premier steakhouse, and VIP viewing boxes. The racino added table games in 2010, and the public can now play poker, roulette, craps, and blackjack.
The racetrack is spending more than $14 million on renovations. The well-known Vibe Lounge, which was a bar offering live DJs on the weekends, has not been open since June. The new casino lounge area will have sportsbook kiosks. It will also have a sports lounge feel. In the casino, the Food Court closed a couple of months ago for renovations. An entirely new restaurant concept, designed by chef Fabio Viviani, will give the casino four restaurants. Viviani created a plan combining steak and seafood with a focus on the different foods of Italy. While the final plans aren’t available yet, there will be a café concept, as well as fine dining. Another lounge, the Headliners Lounge, will get more seating and renovations to its floor space and bar area. The casino wants to be a more inviting spot for gamblers who need to take a break.
The Casino Floor
Players have complained for years that the space for the slot machines on the casino floor was crowded. The slots space used to be larger, but the casino packed it more tightly when the state allowed table games. Many of the slot machine players complained they had a difficult time moving around in the space. Now, the slot machine floor will be more open, with lots of room to move around.
One of the most interesting features of the new casino area is the sportsbook. The renovations to the casino floor mean that the old Vibe space will keep the U-shaped bar. However, the seating will be different, with seating at the bar, as well as seating around large TV screens. There will also be teller cages where players will be able to place their bets. The large TV screens will show sports events, as well as display betting odds.
The Meadows will have to pay for its sportsbook license, which will cost $10 million. The racino will also have to make a presentation to the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission. The casino has to outline what it plans to offer on its sportsbook. The Meadows must also have its plan approved by the commission. The casino will need the commission’s approval so it can test its sportsbook with live wagering for a few days. If everything goes smoothly, the sportsbook can, then, open to the public.
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