Sportsbooks In Vegas Crush The Public In Week 1 Of The NFL Season

NFL Logo
NFL

Casinos in Vegas have sportsbooks because they make money. Sportsbooks did great business in the first week of the NFL season. Underdogs were 10-3 against the spread (!) and 7-6 straight up in the first week of the NFL season.

Underdogs winning almost always favors the casino. While there are more educated sports bettors they still make up the minority of sports bettors.

From Linemakers:

“This was the best opening day we’ve ever had here,” said Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller. ”Just about every game we needed came through for us beginning with our biggest, the Falcons, and then the rest just followed suit like the Browns, Dolphins and then the Panthers. It wasn’t a good day for those that bet parlays.”

Note, it’s never a good day for parlay bettors. Casinos win over 35% of parlay wagers.

From Vegas Insider:

Wins by the Miami Dolphins (33-20 vs. the New England Patriots), the Atlanta Falcons (37-34 in overtime vs. the New Orleans Saints) and Buffalo Bills (23-20 in OT at the Chicago Bears) as dogs set the tone for a great day, according to Jay Kornegay, the (WestgateSuperBook’s Vice President of Race & Sports Operations.

From Covers:

Carolina was the biggest win for us, beating the Bucs,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage, tells Covers. “That, then the Bills and the Bears tied for second. A short third was the Falcons beating the Saints.”

This sounds like a big win for the sportsbook operators but it could have been bigger. The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped out to a 17 point lead against the Philadelphia Eagles, who were favored by 10 or 10.5 only to lose by 17. Thankfully I teased this game to 17.5.

The first week of the NFL season was fun to watch and fun to bet. There was too much early game action for me to consider heading out to a sportsbook to watch. I had a single wager on the Tennessee Titans, a 7 team tease and my first two daily fantasy football games (more on this later) to track. I couldn’t handle tracking this much action in a public setting.

On to the next one…

Roughly 33% Of Station Casinos Sports Bets Are Mobile

Station Casinos Sports Connection App
Station Casinos Sports Connection App

I do the majority of my sports betting through either William Hill or Station Casinos mobile apps. I make my wagers anywhere from my couch to sitting at a red light in my car to the sportsbook itself.

I’m connected to a mobile device or computer all day so it’s not too surprising that I’d be so active with my sports betting apps. Mobile sports betting is only a few years old and I didn’t think that it was catching on too quickly. I think that thought can go out the door.

In an interview with Vegas Seven magazine Station Casinos Race & Sportsbook Director, Chuck Esposito, estimates that almost 1/3rd of their handle comes from mobile wagering.

Station Casinos was one of the first to offer mobile wagering within Nevada’s borders with its Sports Connection. How much of a game changer has that been?

It’s been a huge game changer. It’s a phenomenal piece and added a new dimension to what we have to offer. It enables a guest to have the sportsbook in the palm of their hand; they’re able to get on their smartphone exactly what they get when they come into [a sportsbook]. Educated guess, mobile wagering probably makes up roughly 30 to 33 percent of our overall handle. And it’s going to continue to grow. We’ve only scratched the surface of it right now, but there are things coming down the pike that are going to expand that offering industry-wide.

Before reading this I would have guessed that Station Casinos handle from mobile would have been closer to half that number. Station tends to have an older and less sophisticated customer who doesn’t seem to be very mobile-centric.

Looking for a comparison I checked in with William Hill to see how their mobile hold compared. William Hill has a slightly larger hold of 36% from mobile wagering. This isn’t too surprising in hindsight since William Hill is an independent sportsbook operator they have less ties to land-based casinos.

It looks as if mobile sports betting is catching on faster than I thought. These hold numbers are only going to increase as more people get used to mobile wagering. Betting with apps will never take over all sports betting in Nevada since most tourists don’t want to have an account sitting around with funds in between trips but this is a step forward for mobile sports betting.

Best Sportsbooks In Las Vegas

It’s time for my semi-annual update of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas. There hasn’t been much change since the last time I detailed my favorite Vegas sportsbooks. Here are some things to note with my rankings:

  • I’m mostly concerned with great TV screens and comfortable seating.
  • Since I bet mostly via apps I don’t concern myself too much with finding drink tickets. Besides, they’re usually only good for a well drink, Bud, Miller or Coors. Bleh.
  • I care about access to charging my mobile phone.
  • Drink service is important as is access to grabbing a quick bite.
  • I like a clean environment. I don’t want to itch when I walk in or out of a casino.

1. The Venetian

Venetian Las Vegas Sportsbook
Venetian Sportsbook

Without a doubt there are no better TV screens at any sportsbook in Las Vegas than The Venetian. The combination of crisp color of the TV’s and the dark ceiling and perfect lighting make this almost like going to a movie theater. The seating is the same as every CG Technology (Cantor) sportsbook. The ugly red work desks don’t really matter since you’re watching the games. The chairs are comfortable office chairs. Each betting station has an outlet so you can charge your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Even though the staff isn’t always nice there isn’t a better sportsbook to watch the games.

2. The Mirage

The Mirage Las Vegas Sportsbook
The Mirage Sportsbook

The Mirage was the Mecca of sports betting in the 70’s and 80’s 90’s but had fallen into disrepair until a couple of years ago. The space remains as one of the largest sportsbooks in Vegas but there is now a huge TV screen that takes up the entire wall and plenty of lounge chairs. They even installed some interactive tables that will come in handy for drink service and more (see article on Vegas Chatter). The sportsbook is open to the casino so the lighting isn’t as good as The Venetian but it doesn’t hamper visibility. It’s great to see this classic sportsbook restored to its glory.

3. MGM Grand

MGM Grand Las Vegas Sportsbook
MGM Grand Sportsbook

I’ve come around on this sportsbook. I don’t really like MGM Grand because it’s huge and has way too many kids for Vegas. That said, the sportsbook here is large with many upgraded seats. It’s easy to watch games here since there are so many large screens. With its proximity to TAP sports bar (review on Vegas Chatter) and the Sigma Derby game make it a great location. Pro-Tip don’t use the restroom near the buffet. Instead head toward the Sigma Derby game to relieve yourself without the leftovers from someone’s buffet.

4. Red Rock Resort

Red Rock Resort Las Vegas Sportsbook
Red Rock Sportsbook

This is my local sportsbook so I may be partial. The space is huge with seating for hundreds. The three main screens are massive and change size depending on how many games are on. The downside is that they’re older and could use updating. I’ve been to many of the sportsbooks off the Vegas Strip and no other sportsbook matches the intensity of when there are football games being shown here. Additionally, drink service is quick and they do offer drink tickets.

Notable omissions:

1. Lagasse’s Stadium (The Palazzo)

Lagasse's Stadium Sportsbook And Restaurant At Palazzo Las Vegas
Lagasse’s Stadium

2 years ago Lagasse’s Stadium was the benchmark for a great sportsbook. What’s happened? Poor service (which matters a lot since it’s a restaurant) and the same screens from when they opened. It’s still a good sportsbook when it’s not busy but there are now issues during large events and NFL games. 1) Seating is limited and reservations no longer secure space needed for large parties. 2) Mediocre restaurant service 3) Table minimums around $50 per person for most Sunday’s.

2. Westgate (LVH, Hilton, International) Superbook

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH – Westgate SuperBook

SuperBook has the best linemakers in Las Vegas. There’s no questioning that. Even though they don’t allow smoking in the sportsbook it feels like they do. Sitting at this sportsbook is not fun. The sportsbook smells bad and the air makes me itch. I’ll revisit after they complete the pending renovations. Maybe they’ll add a working air filter and new carpet.

First Impressions Of SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Carpet
SLS Las Vegas Carpet

My first impression of SLS Las Vegas is positive but not perfect. Nothing is perfect as far as I’m concerned. I’ve already detailed some of the flaws from the first few days of business in a separate post.

1. The Setup

The pre-opening moniker SLS Las Vegas used to describe the property was “affordable luxury”. That set up for the hotel to be fancy on a budget. For example there’s no way to make Ikea furniture feel luxurious but it can look nice. With that in mind I went in with limited expectations.

2. Casino Layout

SLS Las Vegas Casino
SLS Las Vegas Casino

I care more about the casino than most of SLS Las Vegas. The floor plan is only 60,000 square feet. If you ever visited Sahara this is 20,000 square feet less. The floor plan is small, which is fine but there are choke points that make it almost impossible to go to certain parts of the casino. The high traffic walkway by table area near the players club and The Griddle is tight and will always be busy. There are similar choke points on the slot floor that will be impossible to walk through because machines are packed so closely. Just scope out areas before sitting down at a table or machine.

Layout aside there are ample 3:2 blackjack games for $5 and $10. Craps has $10 minimums. There is decent video poker and all new slot machines. I dig all of this and wouldn’t mind gambling here. US Poker has a breakdown of most of the games.

Parts of the casino floor seem dark and that can make the tight casino feel almost claustrophobic on busy nights. This feels like a casino I’d visit during the day more than at night.

3. Umami Burger – Sportsbook – Beer Garden

Umami Burger Entrance At SLS Las Vegas
Umami Burger Entrance

This is the part of the casino I was most looking forward to. A sportsbook that serves good burgers and good beer? This might be heaven. It is and it isn’t. This isn’t a sportsbook.

Umami Burger a sports bar/restaurant with a patio and a place to bet on sports. Burger prices are between $12 and $15. Not too bad for the Vegas Strip. Draft beers are around $9-10 and bottles start at $5. There are no drink tickets from William Hill for sports bets as of opening but I think that will change. If you drink/eat at the video poker bar your drinks will be comp’d while you have money in play.

Umami Burger Bar At SLS Las Vegas
Umami Burger Bar

I really like this as a restaurant. Like I said in Vegas Chatter this is a good sports bar/restaurant but it’s not a traditional sportsbook. It should be packed with sports fans for big events but expect to see kids and families in the mix on other days. Even thought it’s not a traditional sportsbook this is my favorite spot at SLS Las Vegas.

Note, you can still sit and watch games without spending any money. However, if there are paying customers for Umami Burger you’ll politely be asked to leave if you’re not spending money.

4. Dining and High Priced Drinks

Continue reading “First Impressions Of SLS Las Vegas”

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

One Of My Favorite Things About Wynn

No Strollers At Wynn
No Strollers At Wynn

I like Wynn and I love Encore.

One of the many reasons is because of this sign. Wynn doesn’t always adhere to the policies on the sign but they do enough to keep a good amount of kids and riff raff away (unless they’re coming out of one of the clubs without shoes on).

I’m all about a kid free casino experience when possible. That might be why I like the sportsbook so much.

LVH SuperBook Set For Renovations

LVH SuperBook - Las Vegas Hotel
LVH Westgate SuperBook

In case you didn’t hear the news, LVH was sold last week to Westgate. LVH is no longer but the SuperBook will continue and become better than ever!

he (Westgate CEO, David Seagel) vows to make Las Vegas’ largest race and sports book the best in the market with new video screens and other comforts.

This is great new for a legendary sportsbook. I’ve never been a fan of the Hilton or LVH sportsbook because it’s old and makes me feel dirty. That said I think I’ll like the newly renovated Westgate SuperBook when the work is done.

There are no dates for renovations but don’t expect anything before football season later this year or March Madness next year.

UPDATE: Since you’ve asked, SuperContest will not be affected by the sale of LVH to Westgate.

Rumor: William Hill To Operate Caesars Palace Sportsbook

Caesars Palace Las Vegas Sportsbook
Caesars Palace Sportsbook

While I was away on vacation last week I received an interesting tip from a trusted source:

William Hill would take over operations of the Caesars Palace sportsbook once the current renovations are complete.

This will essentially be a trial run for William Hill only at Caesars Palace. No other Caesars Entertainment properties will be a part of this initial trial run. If all goes well at Caesars Palace then William Hill will take over operations of all Caesars Entertainment sportsbooks.

Caesars Entertainment operates the casino and sportsbooks at Bally’s, The Cromwell (kiosks only), Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Quad and Rio in Las Vegas in addition to Caesars Palace.

This isn’t the first time that there has been discussion about an outside sportsbook operator taking over activity for Caesars Entertainment. Back in 2011 and 2012 there were heavy rumors that Cantor Gaming (now CG Technologies) would take over operations. That ended with legal problems at Cantor Gaming.

I asked William Hill for a comment and they said “We don’t comment on rumors.” I’ll pass on more details as I hear them.

Photo: Xfinity

United States Vs. Belgium World Cup Prop Bets From William Hill

United States World Cup Soccer
United States Soccer

Whether you’re interested in the World Cup or just interested in sports betting these are the William Hill prop bets available for the US vs. Belgium match on Tuesday.

I don’t bet soccer (or football or futball or whatever you want to call it) but I really enjoy the World Cup. In fact, I’ve been enjoying the World Cup more than expected this year. This is my first World Cup in Vegas and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the excitement during the games in the various sportsbooks I’ve visited.

Are there any worthwhile prop bets here?

UNITED STATES VS BELGIUM: TO ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS
BELGIUM -180
UNITED STATES +160

Continue reading “United States Vs. Belgium World Cup Prop Bets From William Hill”

United States Vs. Germany World Cup Prop Bets From William Hill

United States World Cup Soccer
United States Soccer

Whether you’re interested in the World Cup or just interested in sports betting these are the William Hill prop bets available for the US vs. Germany match on Thursday.

I don’t bet soccer (or football or futball or whatever you want to call it) but I really enjoy the World Cup. In fact, I’ve been enjoying the World Cup more than expected this year. This is my first World Cup in Vegas and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the excitement during the games in the various sportsbooks I’ve visited.

Are there any worthwhile prop bets here?

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY MATCHUP
GERMANY -160
DRAW +180
UNITED STATES 17/2

TO WIN 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP
GERMANY 7/2
UNITED STATES 35/1

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY HALFTIME/FULLTIME RESULT
GERMANY/GERMANY +140
DRAW/GERMANY 3/1
DRAW/DRAW +425
USA/USA 9/1
DRAW/USA 12/1
USA/DRAW 14/1
GERMANY/DRAW 16/1
USA/GERMANY 18/1
GERMANY/USA 45/1

WILL THOMAS MULLER SCORE A GOAL?
YES +140
NO -170

WILL UNITED STATES OR GERMANY SCORE IN THE FIRST 30 MINUTES?
YES -115
NO -115

WILL BOTH UNITED STATES AND GERMANY SCORE A GOAL?
YES -115
NO -115

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY: TOTAL GOALS SCORED
OVER 2.5 -110
UNDER 2.5 -110

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY: FIRST GOAL SCORED
GERMANY -230
USA +240
NO GOAL SCORED 19/2

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY: TOTAL CORNER KICKS
OVER 10 +105
UNDER 10 -135

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY: TOTAL MATCH CARDS
OVER 3.5 +115
UNDER 3.5 -145

UNITED STATES VS GERMANY 1ST HALF ONLY
GERMANY +115
DRAW +120
UNITED STATES 6/1