Table Games Approved for Prairie Meadows

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission unanimously approved plans July 15 permitting Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino to add 33 table games for blackjack, craps, roulette and poker.

Prairie Meadows expects to offer the additional games by mid-December or early January – once a $1 million renovation project is completed, according to Robert Farinella, the Altoona track's general manager.

Most of the table games will be set up on the Prairie Meadows's second floor, taking over part of the grandstand overlooking the track. A lounge in the clubhouse will be converted to a poker room, Farinella told the racing commission.

State lawmakers earlier this year authorized table games for the first time at Iowa's three tracks, which already offer wagering on horse and dog races and has 1,500 slot machines.

Farinella said the track could possibly expand to 60 gaming tables with further renovations.

The track is studying a potential $110 million expansion to include a hotel, parking garage, a larger casino, auditorium and buffet restaurant.