We Got The Spirit

There are hundreds of casinos across the country offering thousands of different slot machines and gaming tables. There may be only one casino in the USA offering a multi-table blackjack pit shaped like a horseshoe, though…

…and that’s at western Pennsylvania’s own Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

“As far as we know, we have the only horseshoe-shaped blackjack pit in the country,” said Lance Young, director of table games at The Meadows. “It’s doing great and has been very-well received with the players and staff.”

Framed by a bright red lighted-base and cushioned black leather accents and manned by dealers dressed in custom black uniforms with a small, studded horseshoe pin and sequined straps, the pit captures a spirit of excitement and community and fun.

“We thought about naming the area the ‘Trifecta‘ to tie in with the horse-racing theme of the property,” Young said. “We settled on branding it the Spirit Pit which we thought captured the feeling of it.”

The name is appropriate as the play and excitement surrounding the area can be high-spirited at times. The energy at the table is tripled since it is actually three separate blackjack tables arranged facing each other, and players can still interact with each other even though they are each playing at a different game.

“When that table gets going, it attracts quite a crowd. People line up two and three deep,” Young said. “It’s also ideal when a big group of people come in and all want to play blackjack together.”

Assistant general manager Phil Barnett feels there’s a lot of entertainment options to be excited about these days at The Meadows and the Spirit Pit is just one of them.

“That Pit can be exciting,” Barnett said. “It’s real popular on the weekends and is doing well.”

The deals range from $15 a hand to $25 a hand depending on the demand, but usually not more than that.

“We’ve had some pretty big winners there,” Young said, “but you don’t have to be betting a lot of money to have fun.”

The Spirit Pit is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night now beginning at 7 p.m. Extended hours may be added during the annual Adios weekend at the end of July.

Gamblers at the Pit are eligible for “points for play,” the perks offering at The Meadows that calculates and awards players the proper amount of points on their players’ cards.

Also, a temporary bar area was added caddy-corner to the Pit, to make it convenient for players and spectators who also face the entertainment that may be appearing at one of the various permanent bars on-site.

Additional enhancements are being considered to add even more entertainment value to the Spirit Pit.

“We’re thinking about introducing some merchandise or maybe some different types of drinks to add to the spirit theme,” Young said. “Also, we may have a ladies night with drink specials or deals for ladies and male dealers in the pit. It’s mostly men playing at the blackjack tables so that would give the ladies their night.”

The dealers volunteer to work at the pit and are usually more-outgoing than the average blackjack dealer, which adds even more excitement for the players. The dealers have described working at the Spirit Pit as a lot of fun.

“We want to increase the interaction at that Pit to make it more fun for everyone,” Young said. “We want our Spirit Pit to be an entertainment center.”

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