Lion’s Share $2.4 Million Jackpot Hit At MGM Grand Last Night

Lion's Share Jackpot At MGM Grand Gets A Winner!
Lion’s Share Jackpot Winner!

Some time around midnight last night MGM Grand tweeted that somebody had won the $2.4 Million Lion’s Share jackpot that’s been building for 20 years. That tweet has was deleted when I woke up this morning. It used an old picture not showing the winning pull so it didn’t seem legitimate anyway.

Questions were flying on twitter whether or not the Lion’s Share jackpot was actually hit. At 12:24, while at the opening of SLS Las Vegas, the usually reliable Norm Clarke confirmed that a couple from New Hampshire did win the Lion’s Share jackpot.

Well, there goes my retirement plan.

People would stand in line to play Lion’s Share at all times of the day for their shot at the huge jackpot. There have been rumors that the winners of the jackpot would receive the actual slot machine but here’s no confirmation of that.

If you played Lion’s Share simply because it was an old game, you can head towards the sportsbook and play Sigma Derby. If you’re looking for a game with a big jackpot (but really bad odds) you can head over to a MegaBucks slot machine at any casino.

Photo: Vegas Message Board

BABYMETAL Is Coming To Las Vegas!

BABYMETAL Performing At MGM Grand Las Vegas
BABYMETAL

A couple of months ago a friend shared a BABYMETAL video on Facebook. I was fascinated by 3 little Japanese girls singing over extreme heavy metal music. I don’t know if I like BABYMETAL but I’m intrigued.

If you haven’t heard them before BABYMETAL is a strangely interesting combination of over produced pop and metal. If nothing else, it’s unique. I’ve fallen into the BABYMETAL YouTube hole where I’d watch their videos for way too long.

Lady Gaga has tapped BABY METAL to open 5 west coast shows, including Las Vegas. The list of Lady Gaga shows with BABYMETAL is below:

7/30 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ US Airways Arena
8/01 – Las Vegas, Nev. @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/02 – Stateline, Nev. @ Harveys Lake Tahoe
8/04 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Energy Solutions Arena
8/06 – Denver, Colo. @ Pepsi Center

I think I need to see BABYMETAL on August 1st. I don’t want to see Lady Gaga so it will be an early night for me.

Watch the BABY METAL video below and I’ll see you at MGM Grand. First round of drinks is on Sigma Derby!

Photo: No Clean Singing

Best Time To Get On Lions Share Without Waiting

Line for Lions Share Slot Machine at MGM Grand
Line for Lions Share

This morning at 9:30 am there was a line of 6 people waiting to play the Lions Share slot machine at MGM Grand. There’s no time limit to play the game so you could stand around for hours waiting. The $2 million jackpot on this slot machine has made this game popular for years with Vegas dorks like me. Since a massive PR campaign landed the tale of Lions Share on a ton of websites, the masses have turned out and lines are now out the wazoooooooo.

I don’t do lines – especially for a slot machine!

Slot machines are generally played people 55 and over, most of whom are women. The best time to play Lions Share (or any slot machine) is when the elders are sleeping. Head over to the game during the overnight hours to snag your turn at the game.

Your best bet to get on Lions Share without waiting is probably around 3 am but you should find the game available with little to no wait from 12 am to 5 am. Any time after that you’ll be waiting with the masses. Good luck!

Photo @rjlynch21086 (twitter) & rjl210 (instagram) 

Ranking MGM Las Vegas Hotels By Revenue

Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel And Fountain Show at Night
Bellagio At Night

Ranking casinos owned by the same company comes in handy more often than you think. If you’re looking for cheaper rooms, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for the most players club comps, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for better gaming odds, you’ll typically look at the bottom (but not always) of the list . If you want to hang with the masses, look to the top of the list because that’s where the money is being spent.

Last week MGM Resorts International reported their quarterly earnings. As part of that information it was easy to pull out how the casino hotels in Las Vegas were doing. In fact, it was real easy since the awesome Stiffs & Georges blog already did it.

  1. Bellagio, $303M
  2. MGM Grand, $255M
  3. Mandalay Bay, $205M
  4. The Mirage, $142M
  5. Luxor, $83M
  6. Excalibur, $70
  7. New York-New York $69M
  8. Monte Carlo, $69M
  9. Circus Circus, $51M

The revenue is fairly in line with how Mlife has the properties ranked when you’re looking for players club comps. If you’re looking at Monte Carlo or New York-New York I recommend you making your plans sooner than later because they should climb the priority chart when the construction is completed next year.

The Mirage is also undergoing a few renovations to freshen it up but it shouldn’t climb much, if any, on the MGM Resorts hotel rankings.

My final thought is more about the revenue for the MGM Resorts hotels than the rankings. It looks like the kiddie corner of the Vegas Strip (Mandalay Bay through Excalibur) is going pretty well. The better the hotels on the south end of the Vegas Strip do the more families and kids it will attract and the less chances that they will have me return as a curious visitor.

If this kiddie corner is creating a niche for MGM Resorts to make more money then it’s a win-win for the company and for me.  It keeps kids away from the casinos I like in Las Vegas and makes MGM Resorts more money.

Photo: Wandermom 

Resort Fees Give Every Hotel Room On The Vegas Strip Wifi

Resort Fees are bad. Nobody will disagree with that but there is something that’s not awful that will come with every hotel on the strip adding a resort fee. When Caesars Entertainment adds a resort fee to all of their Las Vegas hotels next month it will mean that every room on the Vegas strip (besides Casino Royale) will now include wifi.

Not that everyone needs wifi on vacation but it’s nice to have the access. I’m a bandwidth hog and want it all the time. I travel with a laptop and smartphone and sometimes my awesome iPad mini. I get that not everyone is like me but more and more people are depending on wifi access. Many of them (for some reason) are travelling with children that expect wifi wherever they go and will be louder and more obnoxious when they don’t get what they want.

This isn’t to say that resort fees are good but, if nothing else, they’re bringing more internet access to Vegas hotels and that’s not a bad thing. Again, I’m looking for a bright side to resort fees.

On a related resort fee note, if you book a comp room at a Caesars hotel with your Total Rewards account you may not have to pay a resort fee. We’ll know for sure in a couple days but that’s how it’s worked for me at The Venetian and MGM Grand. Most people I know that stay at Caesars properties stay there because they have easy access to comp rooms and for them these resort fees may be moot.

 

MGM Resorts Offering The Coors Light Of Wifi For Free

I like a little girth to my beer and tend to drink darker beers. Coors Light is the beer I’ll drink when I want the flavor of beer but not feel the full effect of a real beer. A couple weeks ago MGM Resorts announced that would be offering free wifi across all of their Las Vegas properties. At first I was stoked…you know me, I love free wifi. Here’s the headline:

Eight MGM Resorts offer free Wi-Fi on the Las Vegas Strip

Great! I spend a lot of time on the Vegas strip and offen grab free wifi to do a couple hours of work. Unfortunately the free MGM wifi is like a light beer and may not be so useful for people like me.

Basic internet access is available with the system for anyone located in public areas such as the lobbies, pool areas, casinos, and restaurants at the named resorts. Use of the internet service will not require a password. Hotel guests will get an upgraded service as part of their stay, and convention attendees or others in need of more bandwidth can upgrade to top internet speeds for a fee.

The new system is expected to be up to 30% faster…

The free wifi service being offered by MGM Resorts is a throttled wifi service. The MGM Resorts free wifi for the public will be 70% of the speed that hotel guests or convention attendees will get with their resort or convention fees. If you’re just stopping by one of the MGM properties you’ll be relegated to the slower speed.

The free MGM wifi isn’t useless. The free wifi at MGM Resorts properties will be good for checking email at speeds quicker than 3G but not for people that are wifi bandwidth hogs like me. I’m a multi-tasker that often has multiple tabs open on a web browser while instant messaging, uploading photos, downloading a podcast, etc. so the throttled speed isn’t perfect.

The wifi speed will be sufficient for most people using mobile web or email but I don’t see the MGM wifi bringing me into their properties to grab a lunch and do a little work. It’s unfortunate, because I’m always looking for an excuse to spend time at Bellagio. I’ll stick with the hotels that offer full access to their wifi connection like The Venetian.

If wifi at 70% speed is enough for you then you can access it at BellagioMandalay BayMirage, and MGM Grand right now with New York-New YorkMonte CarloExcalibur, and Luxor coming on board later this year. I believe Aria has been offering free wifi since it opened.

 

Hooters, Golden Nugget and Terribles Get New

People often ask for cheap places to stay in Las Vegas and I like to send people to hotels with new and clean hotel rooms first and formost. After new and clean rooms I look to the casino and then other amenities since that’s how I roll. In the past couple weeks a few non-major hotel & casino renovations have been announced. Here’s the rundown.

Golden Nugget Hotel Room

Golden Nugget – I don’t go inside this building anymore after too many bad gambling losses. That said, the Golden Nugget is probably the nicest, most luxurious, hotel in downtown Vegas. Golden Nugget room rates are easily the most expensive downtown and are comparable to hotel room rates on the Vegas strip. That’s how the Golden Nugget can pay for the Rush Tower, which opened just 4 years ago, to get new rooms called the Gold Club. I’m biased but I’d save my money downtown and get a remodeled room at the D, Golden Gate, Fremont or Plaza. You can find more renderings and details on the Gold Club hotel rooms at Vegas News.

Best Craps On The Vegas Strip

Craps Table At Luxor
Craps Table At Luxor

As the year ended I looked at the best craps in downtown Las Vegas and didn’t find anything too surprising. Main Street Station has the best odds for a craps game downtown.

Most gaming on the Vegas Strip is worse than those offered in downtown Vegas but that’s not entirely true when it comes to dice. Craps on the Vegas strip is almost the same at every casino but there are a few locations that stand out being better than the rest. Here’s the breakdown.

  1. 100x – The Cromwell
  2. 10x – SLS Las Vegas, Stratosphere
  3. 3-4-5x – Aria, Bally’s, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Casino Royale, Cosmopolitan, Encore, Excalibur, Flamingo, Harrah’s, The Quad, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York New York, Palazzo, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island, Tropicana, Venetian
  4. 2x – Circus Circus, Wynn/Encore

3-4-5 Craps is the norm on the strip and that’s fine. Regardless of the odds craps still has some of the lowest house edges in the casino. The difference between 3-4-5 and 100x odds is fairly small and not enough to make me go somewhere I don’t want. That said, if Cosmopolitan or somewhere nice had a 100x odds game they would likely find me at the table.

Note: If you know different odds at any of the casinos please leave a comment. This craps survey was updated 3/2018.

Photo – flickr jcnikon

New Years Eve In Las Vegas

Without a doubt New York City is the best place in America to ring in the New Year if you’re looking for a large public gathering. With that being said, Las Vegas has recently launched itself into the second best to celebrate New Years Eve. Las Vegas is definitely the #1 place to celebrate New Years Eve in the Pacific time zone.

Whether you’re looking to party in a club with some of the best DJ’s or gather outside and watch fireworks or live music there’s definitely something for you. Along with the awesome party come some things to know about.

FIREWORKS

7 Las Vegas strip casinos will shoot off fireworks for New Years Eve. Gathering is not confined to one area as fireworks will be shot off from MGM Grand on the south end of the strip all the way to the Stratosphere on the north end of the strip.

LAS VEGAS STRIP CLOSING

The chaos of 300,000+ people on the Las Vegas strip for fireworks means that the Las Vegas strip will be closed much of the night on New Years Eve. If you have plans elsewhere get back to your hotel early. Better yet, don’t leave the strip.

DOWNTOWN VEGAS

If confined spaces and live music are more to your liking then you may want to head to downtown Las Vegas. This year’s Downtown Countdown will cost anywhere from $30 to $40 but you get concerts and “fireworks” show on the awesome Fremont Street Experience canopy. This is 21+ only…NO KIDS! (YAY)

Photo – aiBOB