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Racinos are the combination of racetracks and casinos. In 1992, the first racino opened in the state of Rhode Island in the US. Two years later, four additional states - Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, and West Virginia - legalized the operation of racinos.

Polk County, the owner of Prairie Meadows then a brand new but bankrupt horse track located in the state of Iowa, spent $26 million to convert track's clubhouse into a casino and installed 1,100 slot machines. The Prairie Meadows racino opened in April 1, 1995.

Reel-spinning slots proved to be much more popular than video poker. After 12 months, slot machine revenues totaled $119.3 million, enabling Polk County to pay off the $27 million bond issue that paid for the clubhouse casino conversion and retire the track's initial $38.8 million bond issue 17 years early.

With Prairie Meadows' rapid turnaround, the racino concept came of age. The speedy transformation of a struggling Iowa horse racing track into a highly profitable horse racing and slot gaming business was the defining moment in the marriage of pari-mutuel betting and casino / machine gaming.

In 2006, the states of Florida and Pennsylvania opened their first racinos. To date, 11 states have racinos.

In Canada, the first racino is Assiniboia Downs located in the province of Manitoba. The facility opened in 1992. To date, there are 28 racinos in six provinces within Canada.

In Europe, the racino concept is relatively new. Only Austria and UK have allowed racinos. In Asia, only the Philippines have a racino.

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