Meadows Online Casino Preview

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The Meadows Racetrack and Casino opened its doors over half a century ago, making its mark as the first pari-mutuel horse racing track to debut in the state. Today, the venue offers much more than just racing, it now boasts a casino stocked with a retail sportsbook, a huge variety of slot machines and table games, a poker room with a one-of-a-kind view, a bowling center, and a live entertainment venue.

Meadows Casino has already made a huge splash in the online gaming world by partnering with DraftKings and launched an online sportsbook back in October 2019. Throughout its long life, Meadows has proven itself adept at keeping pace with the times, and has never been afraid to experiment with new technology. Meadows was the first to offer Call-A-Bet where customers could call in bets on races and the first to live telecast horse races on local cable channels.

There is a high likelihood Meadows will offer PA gamblers another casino option at some point, but for now, Hollywood Online Casino is the only Penn National site live in Pennsylvania.

What type of welcome bonuses will Meadows online casino offer?

In order to make an educated guess as to what Meadows would offer as a welcome package, we can look to Hollywood Online Casino, also owned by Penn National, and has been up and running since July 2019. Hollywood online casino is offering 2 sign up bonuses which include $25 free just for signing up, and a $500 first deposit match.

Rank
Casino
Offers
Features
1

$25 Free

  • Plus 100% Bonus up to $500
  • Divine Fortune Jackpot Slot
  • Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, More
  • ACH, Credit/Debit Deposits

The $25 no deposit bonus will be sitting in your account as soon as registration is complete. To convert this from your bonus account to your cash account, you must first wager the $25 1 time through on any game available on the site.

The 100% deposit match plays a little different. When you make your first deposit, Hollywood will credit your account with the same amount in bonus cash up to $500. To convert this bonus money to withdrawable cash, you must wager the full amount of your deposit 20x. So, if you deposit $100, your balance will be $200 and you will need to wager $2000 to clear the bonus money.

This does not mean that when Meadows launches their own product that it will be identical to that offered at Hollywood, but we do expect it to be very similar.

What advantages will an online casino by Meadows have?

  • Tried and tested casino software: While it’s possible that Meadows could build its own proprietary iGaming platform, it’s more likely that it would turn to a major industry player such as SG Digital (formerly NYX and Scientific Games). SG software powers Hollywood Casino, whose parent company has an interest also in Meadows. Instead of enduring the grueling process of creating software from scratch, the SG Digital platform would allow Meadows to get a robust and secure online casino up and running in a relatively short period of time.
  • Multi-property promotional tie-ins: Meadows recently introduced a new rewards program which allows players to use points at any one of Pinnacle Entertainment’s casino property. Meadows’ iGaming customers could earn loyalty points online, which they could exchange for incentives at not just its flagship B&M casino, but at any venue under the Pinnacle umbrella.
  • Access to the most popular games: Teaming up with SG Digital, a premier slot game developer, would give Meadows early access to some of the most popular titles created under both NYX and Scientific Games. 88 Fortunes is one such example; the slot features four large static jackpots and is a player favorite in New Jersey and throughout the globe.

Which platforms will Meadows online be available for?

It is now considered industry standard practice for online casinos to offer their games for both Mac and PC desktop/laptop computers, as well as via mobile apps. Meadows casino will certainly follow suit, or watch its players flock to competitors who do.

Desktop client

Years ago, online gamblers were forced to download dedicated software clients in order to access a casino’s game library. Fortunately, that is no longer the case. Web browsers have become much more advanced over the past decade and can now easily run casino games directly through the frontend of a website.

Simply fire up any of the popular web browsers – Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Microsoft Edge – and choose your favorite game to start your session.

Mobile apps

Game creators have become extremely adept at adapting and developing slots and table games for cell phone and tablet screens, making it possible for gamblers to load and play their favorite games from nearly anywhere.

Meadows online casino would not overlook this aspect of the business and would almost definitely launch its own iOS and Android apps. How can we be so sure? Hollywood Online Casino has their own dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android powered devices.

Online game selection at Meadows online

The suite of games offered at Meadows online should be very similar to that of Hollywood Casino. Hollywood Casino online has a wide variety of slots, including many very player friendly options with RTP (Return to Player) in the 96%-98% ranges for slots, progressive jackpot slots and a few table games options including Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat.

Modern formats like Virtual Sports and Live Dealer, both currently making a splash in New Jersey, could eventually be added at Meadows online casino as well.

Slots at Meadows online

Online slots are a lot more player friendly than those of their brick-and-mortar counterparts. It is not uncommon to see RTPs of 95%-98% compared to brick-and-mortar casino slots typically top out around 88%-90%.

Here are a few of the slots you might expect to see there:

  • Divine Fortune 
  • Wolf Run
  • Gonzo’s Quest
  • Jekyll Goes Wild
  • JackHammer
  • Wheel Of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin

Blackjack

Any online casino worth its salt will offer an abundance of blackjack options to its patrons. Expect to see half a dozen or more blackjack games at Meadows online casino, each providing some of the following variations:

  • Micro-limit stakes
  • Single or multi-hand games
  • Sidebets
  • Traditional Atlantic City or Vegas rules

Blackjack rules at PA land-based casinos are generally favorable to the customer. 3:2 payouts for naturals are the norm and doubling down is allowed after any two cards or after splits. We expect these rules to translate to Meadows’ online casino as well.

Roulette

Online gaming has opened up a whole new world for the game of roulette, providing options that players just won’t find in B&M casinos. At a land-based property, you might see a single roulette table offering the American version of the game, which, by the way, provides significantly worse odds than the European version.

At Meadows online, you’ll find both variations, along with some unique versions only offered in the virtual realm, like 3 Wheel Roulette and Double Spin Roulette.

Other table games

If you’re in the mood to branch out a bit from the most popular titles, you’ll likely have several games to choose from. If New Jersey casinos are any indicator, some of the following games will be available:

  • Let it Ride
  • Three Card Poker
  • No Commission Baccarat
  • Slingo

Virtual Sports

Virtual sporting events are computer-generated simulations, and do not represent real-world games. However, many enjoy placing bets on these virtual contests to pass the time between live horseraces and games.

Bets can be placed on the following types of events:

  • Car racing
  • Dog racing
  • Horseracing
  • Motorcycle racing
  • Soccer

Live Dealer at Meadows casino

The Live Dealer format has become such a success in the Garden State that casinos like Golden Nugget and Betfair have increased their hours of operation while continually adding more games. It’s possible that we could eventually see Live Dealer at  Meadows casino, but it’s more likely that larger casinos like Parx and Rivers would have it up and running first.

Will Meadows’ online gambling site have a loyalty program?

If you don’t take advantage of your preferred casino’s loyalty program, you are leaving money on the table. Online casinos, like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, know that to keep players happy and excited to return, they need to offer a consistent stream of rewarding bonuses and incentives.

While it’s unclear exactly how Meadows online casino would go about creating its loyalty program, it’s a certainty that they will offer one. The brand could take one of two routes. The first would be to extend their current, recently revamped land-based program, MYCHOICE. The second would be to create an entirely new system exclusively for their online customers.

We can be reasonably certain that Meadows will try and entice its online players into checking out its land-based casino through promotional tie-ins. Online players might earn some of the following rewards, redeemable at multiple Pinnacle Entertainment properties:

  • Free slots play
  • Discounts on food and beverages
  • Hotel discounts
  • Entertainment and shopping incentives
  • Coupons and special offers

Banking options at Meadows online casino

Fortunately, making deposits and withdrawals at PA gaming sites is easy, safe and fast. We expect Meadows to launch with enough banking options to allow nearly any type of qualified player to deposit funds quickly and easily.

Here are a few of them:

  • PayPal
  • E-wallets like Neteller or Skrill
  • Instant eCheck (ACH)
  • Online banking transfer
  • Cashier’s cage at Meadows
  • Visa/MasterCard credit or debit cards
  • Meadows Play+ prepaid card option
  • PayNearMe (cash at 7-Eleven)
  • Bank wire transfers

Customer support at Meadows’ gambling site

Looking to Hollywood online casino, there are three ways to contact the site if you run into any problems:

  • Email
  • 24/7 phone
  • Live chat

More about the Meadows Racetrack and Casino

Pennsylvania’s gambling industry dates back to 1959, when the lawmakers legalized horseracing through the passage of the Race Horse Industry Reform Act.

Meadows was the first property to take advantage of the new opportunity, breaking ground for its pari-mutuel track in 1962 and opening its doors the following year. The track was initially operated by the Washington Trotting Association, but was later sold to a group consisting of renowned trainer Delvin Miller. Miller’s legacy is cemented through the track’s premier race, the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchards.

Meadows may be the oldest track in the state, but it has always been at the forefront of modern betting technology. In 1983 it introduced the popular Call-A-Bet system, which allowed gamblers to place bets right over the phone, cutting out the need to drive out to the track at all. This feature was complemented by Meadows Racing Network, a telecast which broadcast the days’ races live on select local TV channels.

In 2004, PA passed legislation legalizing slot gambling at 14 locations throughout the state. Meadows quickly applied for a Category 1 gaming license, which it was granted in 2006. Three years later, the property opened its permanent casino, which now includes over 3,000 slot machines, 65 table games, a 14-table poker room, along with a premier steakhouse, a bowling center and a live music venue.

In 2014, Meadows was sold by gambling behemoth Ladbrokes to Cannery Casino Resorts (CCR). Cannery in turn sold the property to Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. for $440 million with Pinnacle Entertainment buying the operating business and leasing the property for $25 million a year. Penn National then acquired Pinnacle and now operate the casinos day to day operations.

Conclusion

While Meadows hasn’t publicly shown his hand as to whether it will create its own online gambling site, we believe there is a strong possibility that it will.

The property has shown a proclivity for embracing new technology throughout its history, so offering virtual gambling would be a logical continuation of that trend.

What’s more, Meadows is operated by Pinnacle Entertainment, which was acquired by Penn National. This is important because Penn National also owns and operates Hollywood Casino, who owns and operates their own online casino. Only time will tell if Meadows will branch out on their own or continue to advertise for Hollywood, but more options in a growing market is always good for the consumer.

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Bill Grinstead

Bill has over a decade of experience working in diverse aspects of the online gambling space. He is currently focused on legal, US online gaming, which he has reported on since the industry first became regulated in the country.

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