The Demise of the Vegas Sportsbook Was Greatly Exaggerated

There was all sorts of rumors in the news and throughout the twittersphere that sportsbooks in Las Vegas lost their, collective, nards on the Super Bowl on Sunday between the Packers and Steelers, but the truth wasn’t really that bad.

Sports books in Nevada hung on to win just over $724,000 from Super Bowl bets despite heavy gambling on the Green Bay Packers and lots of scoring.

The total handle on the game was much less than expected or hoped for (as I detailed on Vegas Chatter last week).

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said Tuesday that $87.5 million were wagered on the NFL’s championship game in 183 sports books across the state.

By comparison to last year the profit was way down, but the amount bet wasn’t too much of an improvement.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said Tuesday that $87.5 million were wagered on the NFL’s championship game in 183 sports books across the state.

All in all, not a good day for the books but not one that will drive casinos out of business, especially as the sportsbook only accounts for about 5% of a casino’s revenue.  The Super Bowl is like Christmas for the sportsbooks, so don’t look for a good year from the sportsbooks, in general and expect cutbacks if you see the same thing during March Madness.

Thoughts On The Venetian

This was my first time staying at the Venetian and I still like it as a casino, but probably not as a place I’d like to stay.

The vibe in the casino is nice and relaxed but fun and the crowd is in the middle of the age types – somewhere between younger people and older people.

One of my favorite places in the casino was the sportsbook.  It’s pretty big and since it wasn’t NFL season it felt like a respite from the rest of the casino.

One great thing is that the Venetian sportsbook still gives out drink tickets with bets.  I received a few with my losing bet, but at least I was able to cash them in for a few awesome glasses of Blue Moon.

While I was at the sportsbook bar I cashed on 4 aces in Double Double Bonus Poker!  I was only playing $1 since I threw it in waiting for my beer.  Too bad.

I found the Venetian pretty crowded all day and night as there were a lot of tourists and families with children.  I’m a single dude and screaming kids are not what I want in Vegas.

The Grand Canal Shops were crowded with browsers, shoppers, eaters and drinkers.  I tried to avoid the shops during operating hours because of all of the people, but was happy to sneak in to grab some coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  Also, during regular hours the shops also had this CREEPY live statue.

The Venetian has done a great job branding themselves as a semi upper class family hotel without being stuffy.  It’s taken years to get that kind of equity.

On the other hand the Palazzo, which is relatively new, has not yet reached a similar critical mass.  The Shoppes were dead like they were on my other two visits.  However, for the first time in three visits the casino floor was PACKED on a weeknight.  Maybe there is a turnaround slowly happening at the Palazzo.

Food options are another thing I liked at the Venetian.  There is both quantity and quality.

The food court by the casino is easy to get to and has a nice variety of food as well as free wifi.  The full service restaurants are good as well and Delmonico is one of my favorite steakhouses in Las Vegas.

I tried First Food and Bar, which is hidden between the two hotels, and it was excellent.  It wasn’t too crowded and had interesting food such as cheese steak dumplings and ahi tuna nachos.

One negative for me as a solo traveler this trip was that there was no iphone reception inside of the Venetian Grand Lux Cafe.  I hate eating alone and keeping my head buried in my phone is usually a good trick to pass the time.  Unfortunately I couldn’t do that while eating lunch inside the restaurant.  So I scarfed down this BBQ pork sandwich and headed out ASAP.

On a better note, I was able to sit “outside” the following morning and grab some steak and eggs.  My favorite hangover remedy.

Overall, I enjoyed the Venetian and will likely continue to make it a place to visit when I’m in Vegas, but I don’t see myself staying there again. There are a lot of positives about the casino, but the wear on the rooms and the hordes of families and tourists give me reason to go elsewhere.

However, the Palazzo is both empty enough for me most of the day, but crowded enough at night in the casino to feel alive.  If given the chance to return, I would highly consider the Palazzo.

Get 25% Discounts At Legasse Stadium

Legasse Stadium announced on their twitter feed that you can get 25% off your bill after you “check in” three times on Foursquare.

Many visitors can do this on one trip to get discounts of your own.  You can check in from just about anywhere in the Palazzo, so it should be easy to grab this discount.

It’s cool to see casinos use technology as a marketing tool.  It’s also nice to see the offer of a large discount like this.  I’ve easily spent a couple hundred dollars at Legasse Stadium with friends – and that’s with each of us getting drink tickets for our bets.  Hopefully this will bring more business to Legasse Stadium so more places do this.

Foursquare and Gowalla are apps available on smartphones that, in short, let people know where you are.  Foursquare is offers different kinds of rewards and “mayorships” while Gowalla offers badges that you keep on your phone.

Both are competitors and I’ve tested each of them for a while, but will be making the switch to Foursquare on my next trip to Atlantic City.  It seems as if more major corporations are using FourSquare.  I figure if I’m going to use my time on *another* social network I might as well receive something for it.

Connect with me on twitter and foursquare if you’re mobile and inclined.

Ballys Sports Book to Open Soon

Bally’s sports book is set to open on August after being closed earlier this year.  The opening coincides with football season.

The Bally’s Race and Sports Book will reopen with an all-new roster of offerings just in time for football season. Beginning Aug. 26, the full-service sports book will celebrate the re-opening with an exclusive VIP viewing area, celebrity appearances by well-known sports figures, “text-to-win” promotions and drink specials galore.

The recently added VIP Lounge offers sports enthusiasts the ultimate opportunity to enjoy their favorite game in High Definition. Complete with comfy couches and sports memorabilia, the VIP area can accommodate up to 100 guests for an exclusive game day experience

The sports book opens on schedule after being closed for the slow sports betting period of the summer.  Now that football is back there will be demand for greater sports book capacity.

It’s nice to see that Bally’s was able to re-open the sports book.  It shows that there is a little stability in the economy.  I would be concerned if the sports book didn’t open again.  Alas, we can breath easier.  This is another sign that football season is getting closer!

Bally’s Las Vegas Closes Sportbook

This week Bally’s in Las Vegas closed their sportsbook for the Summer.

Deanna Pettit, a spokeswoman for Bally’s, confirmed the 285-seat sports book’s closure, but she said the move is temporary. The sports book is scheduled to reopen in September.

Pettit wouldn’t elaborate on reasons for the closing, but she said remodeling was not a factor. The sports book will occupy the same spot when it reopens in the fall. For now, the sports book at Paris Las Vegas will do double duty and serve customers of Bally’s. Harrah’s Entertainment owns both resorts.

I’ve never been to Bally’s, but evidently the Paris sportsbook and Bally’s sportsbook aren’t too far away.  Apparently, less than 10 jobs will be lost.  I think more money would be save on electricity than the payroll.

Bally’s in Atlantic City has made similar small closures to parts of the casino.  This is the first move like this that I’ve seen in Las Vegas.  It probably won’t be the last.  I guess every penny saved nowadays is a penny earned.