Best Sportsbooks In Reno

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When I wrote about my favorite sportsbooks in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago I had someone ask if I knew the best sportsbooks in Reno. I’ve never been to Reno so I called on my Reno guy, Chris Andrews, for some information.

Chris is a great guy and has worked at the Stardust and Barbary Coast sportsbooks in Las Vegas. He’s worked for William Hill most recently and now operates Against The Number.

If you follow my other writing you know that I contribute monthly to Against The Number which is a complimentary blog to SHARPS. Chris offers a lot of great insight and information for sports bettors on twitter where you can follow him @andrewssports.

Without further adieu, let’s look at the 3 best sportsbooks in Reno. Note: Make sure you check out #1, it is awesome. Like, seriously awesome.

#3- Silver Legacy

Silver Legacy Reno Sportsbook

The Legacy is part of the MGM family of sportsbooks. That means some good things, and some not so good things. At the headquarters they run the place like a Las Vegas sportsbook. Reno is a different market, but I’m not sure they’ll ever figure that out. Money lines are sporadic, the games with bigger point spreads often don’t have them. The future book prices are not the worst, but they’re not very good either. Parlay cards are less than ideal and often games are taken off if they have moved quite a bit. If you are a big player and a room customer staying here, getting down on a large bet should be no problem.

The ticket writers here are all very professional, very efficient. Sometimes there aren’t enough of them, however.

Drink tickets are given out for sports players. They have a nice bar with a good viewing area. Including the bar area, there are 13 televisions. You can sit in one spot and see all the games. Sometimes the picture is not the greatest quality, though.

During football season, they set up a sandwich and snack bar. The selection is usually minimal, but I can personally attest to an excellent turkey or roast beef sandwich. They have chips and salsa, pretzels, popcorn, and various snacking items as well.

Beer and bartenders make a bar for sports bettors and this bar has good quality in both areas. There is good cocktail service, as well.

The Legacy has some of the best seating in the area for comfort as well as accommodating a large number of people. They erect bleachers in the sportsbook are for a stadium feel. They don’t have a large amount of televisions, but you can see them all rather comfortably.

Photo: Silver Legacy

#2- Eldorado

Eldorado Reno Sportsbook

William Hill manages this book, so you’ll find an abundance of betting options, great parlay cards, money lines on virtually all the games and the best future book in town. Of course all the numbers are at market price, so if you are shopping for an off number you probably won’t find one here.

The televisions abound. There is a set of eight in a room just off the sports book. Also next to the bar is another set of eight. The bar itself also has another ten perched high. Within the sports book proper are another set of ten TVs, however they are often shared or used for horseracing.

Seating within the book is also sometimes sparse, as many seats are reserved for horseplayers. However in the two anterooms and at the bar there is a bit of seating, but often not enough to accommodate everyone.

The ticket writers here are hit and miss. One gentleman in particular is one of the best in town. You’re taking your chances with some of the rest. Check your tickets carefully.

The bar has a nice selection of beers on tap and in bottles. Bartenders and cocktail waitresses are pleasant and efficient. There are plenty of seats around the bar for good viewing, too, but you won’t be able to see all the games.

On the downside, William Hill does not give out drink tokes. If that is your reason for being in a sportsbook, this is the wrong place. A quick bite to eat can be a problem, as well. There is nothing in very near vicinity, but an Asian noodle restaurant is across the casino. On the second floor there a coffee shop and the Brew Brothers with good salads, sandwiches and the like for easy takeout. They also have a coffee bar next to the coffee shop if indeed all you want is some caffeine and a baked good.

Photo: Eldorado Reno Flickr

#1 Peppermill

Peppermill Sportsbook Reno, NV

What sets this book apart is the service. It is second to none anywhere in the state of Nevada. In fact, most businesses of any kind could take a lesson from the type of service you get at the Peppermill. Besides the ticket writers all being pleasant, polite and knowledgeable, there always enough of them, up to ten on a football weekend. You might have to wait in line, but that is only because they have a lot of business.

In the primary viewing area, there is one large screen and eighteen smaller screens. Seating can be a problem. Again, the reason is they have so much business. It’s awfully hard to fault them for that. In the bar area, there is a raised floor with good viewing. To rear of the main viewing area is another set of eight televisions. More are sometimes used, but those are primarily for their race business, which is also the best in Reno.

At many of the seats are also individual televisions, so besides the view of the entire room, you can watch your own personal selection.

Drinks are given away easily, and the cocktail service is excellent. The bartenders at the sports bar are not always the nicest or most efficient, however. I would stick to the cocktail waitresses.

The sports deli is nearby. There is some seating available here, but not the best, with a view of perhaps only one television. The sandwiches, pizzas, and baked good are of the usual high Peppermill quality. A coffee bar is across the room, but the wait there can be uncomfortable if you have games going.

Betting wise, the Peppermill has good parlay cards, almost all football money lines, and uses a dime line in baseball. In football they also let you buy on to the three at -120, which is a huge plus to knowledgeable bettors. They also book the old-fashioned way; they take a bet and move the line. What a concept! You might find an off number here occasionally. As long as you bet what they allow you and don’t abuse it, they will take a nice size bet.

No book is perfect, however, and neither is the Peppermill. Their future book prices are some of the worst in the state. That’s really saying something, because Nevada’s are awful. The casino itself also almost forces you to get a player’s card. Prices are high for sandwiches and coffee, but you get a discount with a club card.

If you’re looking for me on a Saturday or Sunday during football season, you’ll likely see me at one of those locations. A few others I might stumble into are the Grand Sierra, John Ascuaga’s Nugget or the Tamarack. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but I can enjoy myself at any of those, as well.

Ed: Check out the commercial for this place!

Barbary Bills Closed Today

Today is the last day for Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon. Whoop de do. It’s just another change to the Vegas strip and I’m all for change.

When Bill’s reopens next year, what had become a Strip antique will be a boutique hotel with new hotel rooms, a refurbished casino, a second-story restaurant, and a rooftop pool and nightclub. It will have yet another name.

A boutique hotel and casino seems like something that makes sense for today’s market. I’m not very nostalgic and I have little care for  a casino I’ve never been to. This is being called a full renovation so I’m assuming all of the rooms will be renovated and new unlike the half assed renovation of the Imperial Palace into The Quad.

I like new shiny new things and I ‘m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the property when it re-opens in a couple years. I imagine that this will just continue the migration of low rollers downtown and there’s nothing wrong with that.

If you frequented Bill’s the POV Blog tells you what other Caesars properties you can visit to find things like beer pong and performers like Fat Elvis. If you’ll miss cheap gaming, head downtown or to any of the casino’s in these hotels.

Fixing Up Vegas

Recently your host, Mr. Eastcoastgambler (Hi), has been bringing you youtube videos of past Vegas implosions.  Now that the economy has soured, Vegas isn’t destroying old properties to build new ones but instead is investing money to improve already existing resorts.  Yesterday, the trend continued with the announcement that Golden Gate would be adding 19 new rooms and expanding its casino floor.  So what other properties need a fixer upper?

Bills Gamblin Hall and Saloon – This place is so in need of some life, that Caesars won’t even let it be part of Total Rewards.  As the Barbary Coast, it was unique, boutique and known for great service.  Since being taken over by Caesars, it has fallen into disrepair. The service has majorly declined and upkeep has been minimal.  The doors even still have the BC initials from the Barbary Coast.  There is a lot to like about the interior of Bills, but it needs a lot of work to become relevant again (and a new name wouldn’t hurt either).

Binions – Binions is basically a Las Vegas landmark.  Historically, it is known as being the place where Benny Binion would take any bet offered and even would display a million dollars in cash for people to take photos with.  Caesars may have stolen (ED: They paid for the name, that’s not stealing) the Horseshoe brand, but that doesn’t mean that Binions should go away.  With the Plaza, El Cortez, and Golden Gate getting upgrades, Binions should be next in line to continue the trend.

Excalibur – This place needs so much work I don’t even know where to start.  The theme is a killer, as it is distinctly built to be a family oriented place.  Since Vegas has moved out of that trend, the theme hinders more than it helps.  A fresh coat of paint to bring down the ‘Camelot’ and re-theming the place into a good vs evil knight thing could be a start.  However, Excalibur would need a remodel along the lines of the Tropicana to have any chance at relevancy.

Pioneer Club – This is my dark horse candidate.  Pioneer Club has one of Vegas’s most iconic signs, Vegas Vic, and yet is no longer even a casino.  How sad is it that Vegas Vic now advertises for a gift shop and an ABC store?  I would love to see someone buy this place and return it to its former glory and give Vegas Vic the property he so rightly deserves.

Bills Gambling Hall Getting Cleaned Up

Bill’s Gambling Hall & Saloon, formerly Barbary Coast, is getting cleaned up and rebranded by Harrah’s or maybe even another company.

I’m (Robin Leach) hearing exclusively from very reliable sources that the 4.3-acre property is part of a staggering deal with a major nightlife entertainment force, and everything including the 17,200-square-foot casino will get a major overhaul from top to bottom. When the news is officially announced, it will rock the nightlife scene.

Bills/Barbary Coast has never gotten my interest.  In fact, the only time anyone mentions this place is because of Drai’s.  A makeover to fit that crowd might make a lot of sense.  Since there isn’t a hotel component, I can see Bills being changed into a building with multiple clubs and gambling.

**UPDATE: Thanks for the heads up that there are actually hotel rooms at Bill’s.  I’ve never been, but now I know better.