The Meadows offers a glimpse of the racino business - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

The Meadows offers a glimpse of the racino business

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WASHINGTON, Pa. - A little taste of Vegas is located just on the southern outskirts of Pittsburgh. The Meadows Racino has been in operation since 2007.

"We built this property to be oriented to the race track. So everywhere you are in a dining experience, you get to view the racing," says Vice President and General Manager Sean Sullivan. 

The racetrack at The Meadows turned 50 years old on June 28.

About 15 years before the casino came along, the business here started to decline, and making it a racino brought it back to life.

"All the casinos were brought into the state to help the agricultural department. To help the horse racing industry. To help tax relief in property taxes. There's different beneficiaries. The general fund and so on," says Sullivan.

The economic impact can be felt throughout the racino's surrounding communities of Washington and Canonsburg.

Austintown's racino will be about half the size of The Meadows; its casino will have Video Lottery Terminals or VLT's and on the track will be thoroughbred racing.

Lawrence County's Valley View Downs, still in its planning stage, will resemble the Meadows with the harness racing, slots and table games.

Sullivan says he is concerned about what could happen if too many companies try to get a piece of the racino action.

"It would be great if the incoming tide lifted all the boats, but it's not. So we have to be careful. It could just saturate the market and it could spread those limited revenues to multiple locations and what that does, is it makes it difficult to invest in a facility for capital investment; for expansion," he says.

For the Meadows, that expansion will include retail. It offers live entertainment, with big names like Gladys Night. It also has eating areas and a bowling alley, making it a family destination.

"We're not a casino in our own minds. We offer different forms of entertainment so we see it as one big package," Sullivan says. 

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