The entertainment at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort runs around the clock, with a live thoroughbred racing schedule that spans seven months and a simulcast race schedule that covers every day of the year. They are also the first racetrack in America to add gaming to its offering.
|Address:||1420 Mountaineer Circle, New Cumberland, WV 26047
Owner: Eldorado Resorts
|Founding date:||May 19, 1951|
|Horse race betting:||Yes|
From the first of May through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, live horse racing dominates the schedule at the Mountaineer Casino.
It’s also home to the West Virginia Derby and the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes, both Grade III races.
Bob Baffert, the trainer of Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, has won the West Virginia Derby three times – most recently in 2016 on Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner, Cupid.
Not only do guests at the racetrack get to watch and bet on some of the best horses in the country during its seven months of live racing, but there is also a simulcast schedule that runs every day of the year from noon to midnight. If any horse at any time is racing anywhere in the United States, you can place a bet on it at Mountaineer.
They also simulcast greyhound racing from Florida and elsewhere in West Virginia and accept wagers on those races.
The Mountaineer became America’s first ever “racino”- a racetrack that also has casino games- when it added slot machines back in 1994.
Today, there are more than 1,500 slots operating 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
There are also 36 tables where you can play roulette, craps, three-card poker, let it ride, Spanish 21, Mississippi stud, Texas hold ‘em bonus, and blackjack.
One unique feature of blackjack at Mountaineer is the option to place a side bet called an in-between wager.
An in-between wager is a bet where the dealer’s up card will fall in between your first two dealt cards, with payoffs based on card spread. For example, if you have a 4 and a 7, that’s a two-card spread. If the dealer’s up card is either a 5 or a 6, the wager pays 6-1.
The Mountaineer also houses a poker room that features poker tournaments seven days a week, with the schedule of tournaments changing each month.
Other resort amenities
Along with 354 rooms at the Grande Hotel that come with free Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service, the resort has a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a full-service spa open seven days a week.
Several dining options are also available, including an upscale steakhouse, a sports bar, a sandwich and pizza shop open 24/7, and an all-you-can-eat buffet along with a burger and hot dog stand located inside the racetrack.
The resort also offers access to an area golf course as well as live entertainment at Lucky’s Lounge, Mahogany Sports Bar, and LBV Steak & Pasta every Friday and Saturday night.
The Harv is an attached 4,0000-seat entertainment venue that features concerts from the likes of Keith Sweat, the Oak Ridge Boys, and the legendary Pat Benatar.
Promotions and rewards
The Mountaineer has no shortage of promotions, beginning at the racetrack, where new enrollees of RacelineBet.com get a $100 bonus added to their first $100 wagered.
The casino fills the rest of the calendar, with 3x the points earned on Mondays, 50/50 giveaways on Tuesdays, blackjack tournaments every Wednesday, $10 free play for everyone who earns 35 points on Thursdays, the chance to win $500 in free plays on Friday, and Beat the Heat Hot Seat Saturdays, where winners can earn up to $100 in free plays.
The One Club, the Mountaineers’ rewards program, is free to join and grants points on all slot, table plays, and race bets. Points can be redeemed for free plays and discounts on hotel rooms, food, drinks, spa services, and golf green fees.
The tiered system of rewards gives out better redemptions the more you play, with higher tiers qualifying for complimentary drinks, free racing programs, and free show tickets. You can also get VIP lounge access, a personal host, and monthly complimentary spa treatments.
The casino’s past and future
The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort got off to a slow start. Approved in 1939 with the original name of Waterford Downs, its construction was delayed throughout most of the 1940s because of steel shortages brought about by World War II. The project finally began in 1948, but more delays pushed the opening day of the then-named Waterford Park to 1951.
In terms of both volume of races and quality, the racetrack has always been one of the premiere locations in America. In 2009, it was considered as a possible host site for the prestigious Breeder’s Cup. In 2012, it hosted 217 live race dates, one of the busiest race calendars anywhere in the country.
The live race calendar has lost some dates, but the entertainment options with simulcast racing and the fully operational casino have more than filled the void.
Now under the guidance of Eldorado Resorts, which operates 21 similar venues in 11 states (including three casinos in Reno, Nevada), the Mountaineer seems poised to take advantage of the new laws pushing the online casino and sportsbook trends.
They currently offer “Play Eldorado,” an online casino that allows you to play with free credits. Changing the online free casino to an operational paying casino wouldn’t require much effort.
Adding a sportsbook, if that is the direction Eldorado Resorts wants to take the property, would also be an easy transition. Pittsburgh, one of the great sports cities in America, is just an hour’s drive away, so a sportsbook seems like a natural fit.