Prairie Meadows Casino: Poker, Racetrack And Sportsbook

Prairie Meadows is one of the most popular thoroughbred and quarter horse racetracks in Iowa. Located in Altoona, IA, the popular property added slot machines and table casino games, becoming a casino as well.

At the moment, Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel offers an 85,000-square-foot floor featuring 1,900+ slot machines and games such as poker, roulette and blackjack.

Apart from horse races, the property also features a Caesars Sportsbook, which offers an array of betting options.

Prairie Meadows Casino

  • Address: 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, IA  50009
  • Owner: Polk County
  • Operator: Local nonprofit 13-member board of directors
  • Hours: 24/7
  • Casino Games: 1,900+ slots, blackjack, roulette and more
  • Sportsbook: Yes, retail and online
  • Poker Room: Yes, 11 tables; Texas Hold’em and Omaha

Best substitutes for online casino players in Iowa

Prairie Meadows Online Gambling Partnerships

On Aug. 2, 2021, Prairie Meadows partnered with Caesars Sportsbook, a leading sports betting operator.

Prairie Meadows renovated its clubhouse and expanded it to offer a unique sports betting experience branded under Caesars.

Prairie Meadows online casino

Online casino gambling is currently not legal in Iowa, so Prairie Meadows doesn’t have an online platform at the moment. However, it does have an app that features exclusive offers, your reward point balance and a list of upcoming events. Since online sports betting is legal, you can access the online Caesars Sportsbook from Iowa.

Casino at Prairie Meadows

At 85,000 square feet, the casino at Prairie Meadows offers nonstop action. There are approximately 1,900 slot machines and a range of popular card and table games, such as roulette, poker and blackjack.

Slot machines

Prairie Meadows features hundreds of popular slots and works hard on expanding the existing offer. All slot machines are coinless and have a simple ticket-in/ticket-out system. All of them use the latest technology and some even have progressive jackpots. Some of the featured games are:

  • Dragon Cash
  • Dollar Storm
  • Cash Locomotive
  • Cash Express Luxury Line
  • The Vault
  • Ultimate Fire Link
  • Lightning Link

The casino floor is also home to many lock, link and respin slots, which are a big hit. These slots feature an innovative mechanism that awards free spins and locks designated symbols to improve your chances of creating a big win.

Table games

Tables are on the second casino level and are open as of 9 a.m. every day. The usual closing time is 1 a.m., except for Fridays and Saturdays when it’s open until 4 a.m.

Here’s a list of all the table games available in Prairie Meadows:

  • 21+3 Extreme Blackjack
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • DJ Wild Poker
  • Face Up Pai Gow Poker
  • bonus bet Blackjack
  • High Card Flush
  • Mississippi Stud
  • Roulette
  • Siamese Mini Baccarat
  • Progressive Pai Gow
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

The casino also features three electronic table games:

  • Interblock Craps (individual games)
  • Roulette
  • Blackjack

Prairie Gold Rewards program

The loyalty program at Prairie Meadows is called Prairie Gold Rewards. It has a tiered structure and members can progress through tiers by collecting points. There are two types of points you can receive:

  • Reward Points: Members can redeem RPs for casino play, dining discounts, retail merchandise and more.
  • Tier Points: TPs do not have a monetary value and only serve to determine your current tier.

Here’s how you can earn reward points (RPs) and tier points (TPs) at Prairie Meadows:

  • One TP and one RP for every $3 you wager on slots, video poker and electronic table games.
  • Custom TP based on table games (depends on your average bet, time played and game type).
  • One TP and one RP for every $1 on racing wagers.
  • One TP and one RP for every $1 you spend in qualified retail and dining options.

You can redeem 100 reward points for:

  • $1 in slot play
  • $2 in food
  • $2 in retail

There’s a structured tier program and here’s the overview of current levels available at Prairie Meadows:

  • Gold: 0 to 499 points
  • Preferred: 500 to 2,499 points
  • Preferred+: 2,500 to 4,999 points
  • Premier: 5,000 to 17,499 points
  • Premier+: 17,500 to 37,499 points
  • Elite: 37,500 to 84,999 points
  • Elite+: 85,000 to 299,999 points
  • Black: 300,000 to 499,999 points
  • Black+: 500,000+ points

Higher levels bring more tier benefits. As a member of the Gold Tier, you’ll get access to personalized offers, the ability to earn and redeem points, special birthday promos, discounts at the gift shop, discounts at the hotel, tier multiplier incentives and entertainment presale codes. All discounts are 5%.

Once you reach Preferred+, you’ll receive additional food offers and exclusive monthly promotions. All discounts are 10%.

Premier+ members will receive the ability to roll over tier points and will get priority slot service. Moreover, they’ll get access to invitation-only VIP signature events, exclusive monthly giveaways and monthly tier bonus offers. All discounts are 15%.

Once users reach Elite+, they can expect priority line service at retail outlets, a hotel suite upgrade (if available), priority hotel check-in and guaranteed tier period gifts. Moreover, all discounts will be 20%.

Finally, if you make it to Black+, you’ll get a complimentary companion card, a complimentary cruise line certificate, additional free play offers and access to a tier points challenge during every tier period. Discounts for Black and Black+ members are 25%.

Prairie Meadows Sportsbook

Prairie Meadows was a horse betting property before it was a casino. Therefore, it paid special attention to betting options, which fall into three big categories:

  • Live racing
  • Simulcast
  • Sports betting

Horse race betting: Live racing and simulcast

Being an exclusive racetrack in the Midwest, Prairie Meadows lets customers place bets on races taking place on the track. If you’ve missed some of the races, you can watch replays online.

If you’re interested in betting on racing events that are not part of Prairie Meadows, you can do it via the simulcast offer, which offers year-round harness, horse and greyhound races. Some of the most popular tracks are covered, including Churchill Downs, Belmont, Keeneland, Oaklawn Park and Del Mar.

You can also bet on races at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino using the property’s MyBet app. After you log in with your Prairie Gold Rewards card and photo ID, you can place bets from anywhere in Iowa.

Sports betting at Caesars Sportsbook

As stated above, Prairie Meadows is partnered with Caesars. The sportsbook is open Mondays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can place bets on the following sports:

You can also install the Caesars sports betting app and place sports bets from anywhere in the state. The platform also offers a welcome bonus for new customers in IA.

Prairie Meadows Poker Room

Located on the second level of the casino floor, the Prairie Meadows poker room in Iowa hosts 11 tables and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. The two available poker variations are Texas Hold’em and Omaha.

Players can also take part in bad beat jackpot games and win a hefty reward if they experience a bad beat (or are just active at the time when someone wins it). The last time it was updated, the jackpot was $57,300. You can visit the poker room to learn more about the most recent amount.

Here’s how the casino collects table rake:

Total Pot SizeRake
$1 to $10$1
$11 to $20$2
$21 to $30$3
$31 to $40$4
$41 to $50$5
$51 and up$6

Prairie Meadows Casino Amenities

The hotel at Prairie Meadows

The hotel features a total of 168 rooms — kings, queens and suites. It’s connected to the casino, meaning visitors can visit the gambling floor whenever they want. The hotel is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Some of the amenities that are part of the hotel are:

  • Saltwater Pool: Open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and adult-only 9 p.m. to midnight.
  • Fitness Center: It is fully equipped with a range of workout devices, mats, free weights, medicine balls and stationary bikes.
  • In-Room Tablets: Every room has a tablet featuring all the resources that the hotel offers, including to-go orders for food, towels and more.
  • Photo Finish Lounge: A relaxing lounge with a fully stocked bar. The lounge opens at 3 p.m. every day.
  • Airport Shuttle: Complimentary daily shuttle service from Des Moines International Airport. Shuttle requires a reservation and the maximum capacity is 14 people.
  • Business Center: Center offers access to Wi-Fi, phones and printer. Open 24/7.

Check-ins are at 4 p.m. and check-outs at 11 a.m. at the front desk. The hotel isn’t pet-friendly, as only service animals are allowed on the property. All rooms are nonsmoking.

Other available services and amenities are:

  • Discounts for AAA, active military, AARP and employees of the federal government
  • Wheelchairs available upon request
  • Free parking
  • Two Tesla charging stations
  • Daily housekeeping services
  • In-room safe
  • Mobility accessible rooms
  • ATMs


Prairie Meadows features two restaurants and several quick-bite options. The restaurants are AJ’s Steakhouse and The Paddock Grill and Deli.

  • AJ’s Steakhouse: AJ’s Steakhouse has been serving hungry casino-goers for almost 10 years. It is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant recommends reservations. It offers a range of specials, including a selection of steaks, along with an array of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta dishes, entrees and sides. Make sure to check out the restaurant’s drink and dessert menus, as well.
  • The Paddock Grill and Deli: Located on the second casino level, The Paddock Grill and Deli offers pizzas, burgers and deli salads. It features three menus: breakfast, grill and deli.

Quick bites

Some of the quick-bite options available at Prairie Meadows are:

  • Daily Double Deli
  • Homestretch
  • Hops Lounge
  • Photo Finish Lounge
  • Prairie Coffee Company

Prairie Meadows Casino History

Prairie Meadows received a license for offering pari-mutuel betting at the racetrack back in 1984, one year after horse race wagering was legalized in Iowa. The first racing day was March 1, 1989, but the property soon filed for bankruptcy.

Until 1994, the only form of gambling at Prairie Meadows was betting on horse races. However, Polk County residents approved the installation of slot machines at the property after a referendum.

As of 1995, Prairie Meadows started offering slots and other casino games were added after the state allowed the property to do so on Dec. 14, 2004. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Prairie Meadows’ plans to expand in 2005 and the $60 million expansion started in September that year. As of 2007, the property offered two new restaurants and a concert hall called “The Meadows.”

Prairie Meadows is operated by a nonprofit board of directors consisting of 13 members and is officially owned by Polk County. All revenue that the property generates goes to community projects in Des Moines and the surrounding area.

In 2021, Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, IA, partnered with Caesars to offer sports betting.

The racetrack is still open and features stakes and handicaps every year from April to October, playing host to several graded events. For example, the two Grade III events that took place at Prairie Meadows in 2019 were the Iowa Oaks and Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap.