Every hotel in Las Vegas is not created equally. Sportsbooks are built to reflect the personality of the hotel and each one caters to a very distinct type of sports bettor. Whether you’re seeking a tailgate atmosphere, technological bonanza, or betting buffet there are options here in town providing that uniquely Vegas experience. In an effort to become the closest thing you’ll find to yelp for the degenerate gambler, here’s the unveiling of my sportsbook superlatives in anticipation of Superbowl Sunday.
Betting Options: Las Vegas Hotel
No casino offers a wider assortment of options in Las Vegas than the LVH. From Australian rules football to props to international soccer, if there’s a sport with a betting number attached to it you’ll find it here. The one drawback is LVH isn't within walking distance from most strip resorts so it will cost you a few bucks in cabfare to reach this bettor's paradise
There’s no better address than center strip to sweat your action, especially with unlimited free booze at your disposal. The alcohol comes in handy because the only problem with this book is the antiquated big screen technology. To the Bellagio's credit, they still offer one of the more luxurious atmospheres and most comfortable seating to enjoy every minute of your bet.
Let me preface this superlative by saying very few bettors are looking for 5 star dining while the games are in progress so "best food" is a relative category. California Pizza Kitchen and Carnegie Deli are within a stone’s throw from all the action giving you diverse options. There’s no trudging halfway across the known universe to get a good gameday meal and that shouldn’t be undervalued when your're in the middle of a 14 hour college hoops binge come March.
Bar/Restaurant Feel: Lagasse Stadium (Palazzo)
You won’t find another sports bar like this anywhere in the States. Stadium style seating and state of the art big screens with Emeril Lagasse inspired cuisine delivered right to your seat make Lagasse Stadium one of the most complete sportsbook options in town. The best part about this particular bar? There’s a counter within walking distance to get your action fix.
Venetian’s sportsbook makes bettors feel like they're walking into the consumer electronics show. Great visual displays, individual touch screen monitors, and furnishings you’ve come to expect from a luxury hotel on the strip. However, it can also feel more like the library on weeknights than an actual book so plan accordingly.
Atmosphere: Caesars Palace
Very few books command the casino's prime real estate like Caesars Palace does. All corners of the property converge on the book making it the best place to congregate with friends and enjoy games in a social setting. One problem: the room can be understaffed as far as cocktail servers so when you see the aging waitresses walk by your table, be sure to make that drink a double.
Everything about the Wynn speaks to luxury and opulence, all the way down to the elegant dresses worn by cocktail waitresses. Unlike the older joints where unions have a strong hold ensuring 75 year old servers stay employed until the apocalypse, the Wynn showcases supreme talent. One thing to remember guys; these girls are working so don’t be a dirtball because there’s not a douche bag pick up line every girl in this town hasn’t already heard.
Big Screens: Aria
While it may not be the biggest book in town, this highly modernized man cave has the nicest TV’s you’ll find on the strip. The 2 focal points are mega LED screens that cost over 1 million dollars when they were installed. Aria’s book does a nice job to cater to both race and sports customers, providing separate areas for each type of bettor. Throw in the free high speed internet access and comfortable seating to make this my hidden gem among all the sportsbooks here in town.
One night stand potential: Caesars & Cosmopolitan
Woah, bet you never thought you’d see this here. These books benefit immensely because of their proximity to major nightclubs Pure (Caesars) and Marquee (Cosmopolitan). If you’ve ever found yourself betting on a Hawaii home game at midnight, you're best served heading to these books to rub shoulders with SEC caliber coeds who are probably 15 deep already.
Centrally located book to shop lines: Cosmopolitan
This won’t cater to everyone but with ongoing consolidation of sportsbooks, the art of shopping lines is becoming extinct. Cosmo finds itself a stone’s throw from both an MGM property (Bellagio/Aria) and Caesars Entertainment (Planet Hollywood) so you can stroll between all 3 to give yourself an edge while searching for the best price.
Hide from civilization: Bally’s
Hidden away from the main casino and hotel towers, this book is located so far off the beaten path it makes a trip to Starkville seem convenient. The space at Bally's offers all the amenities bettors want: stadium seating, adequate food options, and seclusion from the rest of the free world. You'll enjoy your experience here...if you can find it.
Feel like a VIP: MGM
This comes with a caveat that if you sit with gen down on the floor, there's nothing special about the experience. However, if you can secure a skybox atop the room then you're in business. Each box comes with plenty of seating, your own tv, personal waitress, and a birdseye view for launching ice cubes and other projectiles at rival fans sitting below you.
Remember, when you head to Vegas bet responsibly but act reckless. Afterall, what’s the point of a 3 day sports betting bender if you don’t come away with any good stories to tell your friends for years to come.