In This Space
Almost 50 years ago a large, once barren farmland was broken to make way for Western Pennsylvania's first betting race track. In June of 1963 The Meadows Racetrack was first opened by the Washington Trotting Association for those of legal age of course. Forty years later, in 2004, legislation passed to allow The Meadows to obtain a gambling license for slot machines.
The Meadows casino opened on April 15, 2009 and boasted a giant 350,000-square-foot casino, five restaurants, a covered grandstand, and a state of the art bowling alley. The Meadows offers over 3,500 slot machines, both old fashion and high tech. In July of 2010, legislation was again passed to allowed the Meadows to have table games. Consequently, 62 table games ranging from the highly popular Blackjack to the more mysterious game Baccarat have been place installed throughout the wonderful casino. The Meadows Casino also includes a luxurious poker room that offers 26 tables, full private bar and own unique menu. The Meadows Casino is just like its racetrack, one of the nicest in the area.
The Meadows Racetrack holds year round harness races, which utilize a "harnesses" to pull racers in their carriages. The racetrack is a 5/8 mile oval made of stone dust. Races often take place late afternoons and early evenings Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. With most races starting at 12:55 pm, it is a perfect time to waste and hour before or after classes, even on a rainy or col day. In 2009 The Meadows has constructed a brand new Grand Stand that is fully covered, protecting patrons from whatever conditions are outside.
Steve Watkins, the Co-Director of Events Affairs explains other essential part to year round racing. "If mid-winter race days are too harsh for you, Delvins Café is racetrack front and is a nice place to warm up. Patrons can also spectate from our Winners Circle enclosed balcony that overlooks the entire track, or relax in a luxurious lazy-boy while watching it on one of our five big screen TVs at the sports book."
The Casino is located less than five miles away from Washington & Jefferson's College campus. For any student, faculty or staff to visit the casino all they must do it take US-19 north and take a left on Racetrack Road.
College students get some good perks when they are at the casino. If they show a student ID they are automatically updated from a regular players card to a V.I.P. players card. This card offers free entries in prizes and giveaways, food and drink discounts and special Meadows packages. The V.I.P. card allows them to obtain triple the player points while using the slots or any table game, which can be redeemed at the Meadows or at places like Mr. Gyros through the Neighborhood Partners Program. This program allows card holders to redeem points at local businesses to get a discounted rate.
With all these amenities it has become a W&J hot spot and heavily visited attraction near Washington.
26 beautiful long oval tables fill a large rectangular room, which is only accessible through a small back staircase, reminding me of a hidden basement poker room except with leather seats and a full private bar. The bartender offers you a drink, from behind the beautiful marble bar, as you pass by towards the tables. LCD televisions hang from every marble pillar, looping the day's top sports and drawing winners. The beauty of the place is stunning, but easily ignored when you in the zone.
There is little discussion done among the tables, everyone is busy thinking of pot odds and players' tells. Players surround the table with different backgrounds and different playing types. You can easily spot the sharks in the room; they are the ones with sunglasses on, nice collared shirts, and of course chip stacks that could but the bar ten times over.
The dealer keeps the game running quickly and mostly positive with their professionalism and smiles. Every once and a while an intimidating older man, dressed in a nice suit with a shiny name badge, will walk by the table and write on his miniature clip board. His face has the strictest of stern looks I have ever seen. I am sure you wouldn't smile if roughly 20 million dollars in chip was your responsibility. Attractive cocktail waitresses often stop by and ask if you would like a drink. Now a serious gambler would say no, but when it is on the house it is hard for a college student to pass that up.
Surprisingly I can't smell the lady's smoke floating off of her cigarette sitting across the table from me. It must be the pure oxygen they pump into the place that overpowers the smoke. Another shocker was the complete silence---there is no music playing, no top stories from the news, just the sound of chips being thrown around.Although big pot wins usually break the silence by short-lived celebrations that are often accompanied by cursing.
First Person Narrative
Narrative written by Geno McCourt based on an interview with Steve Berhin, Co-event Planner, on December 4, 2010
I started working for the Meadows Racetrack and Casino back in 2008, in the temporary building, as a security coordinator. When the new building was created in 2009 I was promoted to co-event planner. It's hard not to love my job; I get to meet great people and plan even better events. Nothing is more satisfying than planning a huge promotion and it going off without a hitch. Honestly there is there is something new and exciting going on here every day.
I am really excited about "Santa's $90,000 Cash Give Away." "This is a nice early Christmas gift where players are entered into a drawing where they can win up to $90,000 cash. The drawings take place every Saturday night at 10pm all December long." There is something about drawings and free cash that make people get excited. On days of big drawing the casino is packed with guests--everyone wants to go home the winner. On nights like that I can really feel the energy in the casino--it is remarkable.
"The Meadows Racetrack and Casino is truly a unique place. Where else can you get both year round harness racing and great table and slot games?" The staff and people here are extraordinary as well. The staff prides themselves on the quality of service to our great guests, which explains why we are the number one rated Casino. Our guests are friendly and always energetic too. Together these aspects make gamble at the Meadows the all-around best experience.
Hours of Operation
Casino open 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week.
How to get there
Turn onto Murtland Ave/US-19 North and travel for three miles. Then turn left onto Racetrack road and make a right at the first stop light onto Casino Drive. The Casino will be to your left and free parking garage to your right.
Gambling Problem? Call (800) 848-1880
21 and over only
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