Skip Navigation

Sign In or Register


SharePrint Mountaineer Casino

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, located in Chester, Hancock County, was called Waterford Park when it opened as a thoroughbred horse racing track in 1951. The complex has since grown to include a resort hotel, restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a fitness center, and a 5,100-seat ballroom and events center, in addition to the racetrack and the casino.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the track was floundering, and in 1981 the state legislature passed and county residents endorsed Sunday racing in an effort to keep the facility operating. Nevertheless, Waterford closed in 1983, reopening in 1984 after the legislature granted tax concessions. In 1990, as a Lottery Commission pilot project, the first 165 video lottery machines were installed at the track. MTR Gaming Group purchased the track, then known as Mountaineer Park, in 1992. The track’s fortunes began to improve with the passage of the Racetrack Video Lottery Act of 1994. By the year 2000, more than $1 billion was being wagered at Mountaineer’s video slot machines annually, more than 50 times as much as was taken from live horse racing. In 2007, the West Virginia Legislature authorized local option elections on allowing table games at race tracks. Hancock County voters approved them for the Mountaineer Racetrack, and table games were offered there in fall 2007. Sports wagering was added in 2019.

The resort is a major employer in Hancock County. However, the resort has suffered financially in recent years because of the expansion of gambling in both Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Mountaineer hosts the West Virginia Derby, a nationally recognized race for three-year-olds and the centerpiece of the track’s year-round thoroughbred racing program. The race has been broadcast on ESPN in the past and has attracted Triple Crown participants.

Mountaineer Casino was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Read the National Register nomination.

Last Revised on August 04, 2023

Related Articles

Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Mountaineer Casino." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 04 August 2023. Web. 23 June 2024.


There aren't any comments for this article yet.

West Virginia Humanities Council | 1310 Kanawha Blvd E | Charleston, WV 25301 Ph. 304-346-8500 | © 2024 All Rights Reserved

About e-WV | Our Sponsors | Help & Support | Contact Us The essential guide to the Mountain State can be yours today! Click here to order.