07/17/2004 12:00AM

Prairie table games get OK


The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the addition of 33 table games at Prairie Meadows.

State lawmakers had passed a bill allowing the addition of table games at Prairie Meadows as well as the state's two greyhound tracks this spring. All three tracks already house slot machines.

Passage of the law came after an Iowa Supreme Court ruled in February that a law taxing the tracks at a higher rate than the state's riverboat casinos was unconstitutional. The ruling meant the state owed the tracks approximately $150 million in overpaid back taxes and interest. The tracks agreed to forgive the debt in exchange for being allowed to add table games.

Prairie Meadows will need to complete a renovation project in order to house the games. Play at the tables is expected to begin near the end of the year.