Record Breaking Year For Sports Betting In Nevada!

The Mirage Las Vegas Sportsbook
The Mirage Sportsbook

I’m a sports bettor and try to keep up on how the legal sports betting industry is doing in Vegas (and all of Nevada). When sportsbooks win that means people are losing. I’d much prefer sports bettors win so I’m conflicted about good revenue reports for casinos.

With that being said, I feel conflicted to see that last year was a record year for sports betting with almost $4 billion was wagered on sports throughout Nevada.

Record amounts of money being wagered it great for the sportsbook operators but it doesn’t tell the whole picture. Sports betting is still a very small, but growing, piece of gaming revenue in Vegas casinos.

Sportsbook As Percentage of Revenue for Big Vegas Casinos (Source: UNLV Gaming).

  • 2014: 1.3%
  • 2013: 0.9%
  • 2012: 1%

Sports betting generates a slightly larger percentage of revenue in Downtown Vegas Casinos (Source: UNLV Gaming).

  • 2014: 2.2%

Casino revenue reports include outside operators like William Hill and CG Technology.

Revenue from sports betting has been helped by increased sports betting menus and mainstream acceptance. There was a day when you’d never hear mainstream media mention point spreads or other betting options. That’s no longer the case.

Sports betting revenue is on the upswing and it will be interesting to see how casinos in Vegas adopt. There’s a limit to how much money sports bettors and fans will spend on parties for major events like the Super Bowl (list of parties/prices).

Then again, maybe there isn’t a limit and revenue from these parties is what will keep sports betting alive for casino operators.

Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas Out, Northside Cafe In

Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas
RIP – Griddle Cafe At SLS Las Vegas

When I stayed at SLS Las Vegas in December the Griddle Cafe became my favorite restaurant. $20 was a little pricey for breakfast but the food and coffee were fantastic. Griddle Cafe is closing and will reopen as Northside Cafe which will be operated by the casino.

Griddle Cafe was the one restaurant at SLS Las Vegas that was consistently busy. This closure isn’t a reflection on the restaurant. Rather it’s a reflection on the financial state of the property as a whole. There are a lot of rumors about bad things happening at SLS Las Vegas and I don’t know what to make of them all. One thing is for sure, this won’t be the last change.

If nothing else, they’ll be keeping pressed coffee on the menu. Here’s the press release with more enough spin to make you vomit.

January 29, 2015 – SLS Las Vegas today announced the Feb. 1 opening of Northside Cafe. With breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menus inspired by Las Vegas’ classic coffee shops, Northside Cafe will be open 24/7 and serve as a property hub for SLS guests, players and locals alike.

Northside Cafe will occupy the centrally located space formerly home to The Griddle Cafe. Jodi Hortze, Founder and Owner of The Griddle Cafe, made the decision last year to close the restaurant and operate The Griddle Cafe brand in-house. Jodi added, “The unilateral decision to close The Griddle Cafe at SLS was a difficult one, but ultimately my focus is on growing the brand in new markets, operating as I have successfully for the past 15 years on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. Being part of SLS was a great learning experience, one I will always have with me.”

“We experienced great success with The Griddle Cafe and wish Jodi only the best as she grows her incredible brand in new locations,” said Scott Kreeger, President and COO, SLS Las Vegas. “With Northside Cafe, we’ve created a casual 24-hour dining concept that will serve as a gathering spot for locals and guests in the heart of our property.”

Northside Cafe will serve up generous portions of delicious, home-style comfort food made to order. Breakfast favorites will be available around the clock, in addition to salads, burgers, sandwiches, authentic street tacos, pastas, steak, and seafood—along with French-press coffee, fresh juices, and quality cocktails.

Reach Total Rewards Platinum, Diamond And Seven Stars Quicker

Total Rewards Cards
Old School Total Rewards Cards – Pulse of Vegas Blog

Caesars Entertainment is a mess with this whole bankruptcy thing. They claim everything will “be business as usual”. We’ll see about that. Caesars’ players club, Total Rewards, will likely change at some point but in theory it should remain in tact through bankruptcy.

In an effort keep customers flowing into its casinos Caesars is offering a pretty sweet Tier Credit promotion. Most players club promotions offer Reward Credits only. Those are the credit which that you use on goods like meals. Extra tier credits are a little more difficult to come by.

Tier credits are the credits that allow you to ascend to higher players club tiers like Platinum, Diamond And Seven Stars. The higher your tier status, the better the benefits you’ll receive from Total Rewards. Here’s an overview of those benefits. Note, if you’re Diamond or Seven Stars your resort fees will be waived.

Here are details on the promotion:

Through March 31st, 2015, we are giving you a 50% bonus on the first 50,000 Tier Credits you earn! So, you could walk away with up to 25,000 EXTRA Tier Credits to count towards your Tier Status, and we even started counting on January 1st.*

*Member must earn at least 1,000 Tier Credits by March 31, 2015 to be eligible for the promotion. 50% Tier Credit Bonus will be awarded on up to the first 50,000 Tier Credits earned from January 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015, for a maximum total bonus of 25,000 Tier Credits. Daily Tier Credit Bonuses will count toward the 50,000 Tier Credits maximum. Loyalty bonuses are not earned Tier Credits and thus, are not eligible for this promotion. Tier Credit Bonuses, including this promotion, do not count toward Reward Credit balance, promotional Tier Credit earnings, or qualifying for another daily bonus. Total Tier Credit Bonus amount awarded through this promotion will be calculated after March 31st, 2015 and will be posted to the Total Rewards account on April 15, 2015.

I wouldn’t gamble or spend more than normal to get the bump in tier status. VIP check-in, Diamond Lounges and waived resort fees are nice benefits but I don’t think they’re worth spending extra for.

That said, this is a useful promotion if you’re closing in on one of the upper tiers.

Casinos Are An Ariana Grande or Metallica Song Away

Ariana Grande and Metallica Master of Puppets

I was getting in my car to drive home from Suncoast casino the other day when “Love Me Harder” by Ariana Grande and The Weeknd came on the radio. I drove home by the before the song was over. I never noticed songs traveling to and from Suncoast before. Here’s the song for reference to how quick that trip was.

I listen mostly to rock music in some form when I’m not dorking out to cheesy pop jams or old school hip hop. The rock station here plays a lot of Metallica but one song stands out to me. I’ve probably gotten into my car at the beginning of “Master of Puppets” and exited about 15 times on my way to and from Red Rock Resort.

Red Rock is a little farther drive than Suncoast. Here’s the song to compare.

That’s all, I just have these drive time songs to and from casinos in my head. Sometimes I’ll pick which casino I visit based on the song playing when I turn on my car.

This is just a dumb thing rattling around my head and wanted to share. My next casino visit will be somewhere in Downtown Vegas. That’s 2 or 3 songs away. Enjoy the jams.

Buy Master of Puppets by Metallica
Buy My Everything by Ariana Grande

Resorts World Las Vegas In Limbo

Resorts World Las Vegas Rendering
Original Resorts World Las Vegas Rendering

Genting announced their plans for Resorts World Las Vegas way back in March of 2013. In May of 2014 they announced what Resorts World Las Vegas would consist of and I started to become giddy.

The new property was scheduled to break ground last year and open in 2016 or 2017. Fast forward to January of 2015 and insert <sad trombone>.

Christian Goode, the top executive for the planned $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas development, has departed the project, the company said Wednesday.

That’s not a good sign but construction was supposed to be underway so maybe this is just a bump in the road. Well, not quite.

In an email, Genting Vice President of Corporate Communications Michael Levoff said the company hopes to break ground on the development between April and June.

Resorts World Las Vegas is now behind schedule by at least one year. Their projected 2-3 year construction means that Resorts World Las Vegas won’t open until 2017 or 2018 at the earliest.

Genting was having a lot of success with their overseas casinos but that run ended last year as the Asian gambling market began to soften. I’ll have to relax on my excitement for Resorts World Las Vegas. We can discuss when construction actually begins.

You can see renderings and plans for Resorts World Las Vegas in this post.

Annual Appearance On Beating The Book Podcast

Podcast Feed Icon

This week was my fourth (!?) annual appearance on the Beating The Book podcast. This has been one of my favorite podcasts for years since host, Gill Alexander, and I share a love for betting on baseball (and other sports, but mostly baseball).

The Vegas Lifestyle Show has nothing to do with baseball or gambling. It’s a beginner’s guide for dudes when they visit Vegas. Here are the details on the show:

It’s the only non-sports betting episode of the calendar year, but for some, it’s the most anticipated.  If you’re planning a trip to Vegas, let this be your guide.  Host Gill Alexander,’s Marco D’Angelo, and man about town, Ace, take off their handicapping hats and are joined by Marc Meltzer of, part of the Conde Nast Traveler Network, to discuss the best Sportsbooks, Nightclubs, Steakhouses, and Strip Clubs in Sin City.  Plus, the best buffet and best value lunch are identified, as well.  The Super Bowl’s not for a while.  In the meantime, enjoy a man’s guide to Sin City, on Wednesday’s Beating The Book (January 21, 2015). 

Here are links to get the podcast:

Here’s a post with links to most of the gambling and Vegas podcasts I listen to. It’s updated as I find new podcasts to listen to.

Lots Going On At Mercadito Inside Red Rock

Pastor Taco at Mercadito at Red Rock Las Vegas
Pastor Taco at Mercadito

I went to Mercadito at Red Rock Resort for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I was so hungry I couldn’t take a picture of my food when it was served. The Pastor tacos (professional photo above) were delicious – even without the pineapple.

The tacos were pricey at $14.50 for a serving of four (menu) but they may have been the best tacos I’ve had. My friends were loving the guacamole, if you’re into that sorta thing. I’m not but I did enjoy some super salty chips and 3 different salsa’s with verde being my favorite.

If you’re cost conscious you can find less expensive tacos at the Nacho Daddy location nearby on Sahara but you may not find a better quality taco.

Mercadito has a bunch of promotions going on right now. Check it out.

  • All You Can Eat Tacos – $19.95 on Sunday & Monday. If you’re not a big eater this may not be worth it. I was full on the four tacos with my $14.50 order of Pastor tacos.
  • Tacos For Life – Enter contest by spending $40. If you finish 32 tacos in one hour you’ll receive the meal for free and a $200 gift card. You’ll also be entered to win tacos for life.
  • Super Bowl – $50 for all you can eat tacos and 2 hour open bar. Open bar is basically $30 so make sure you’re thirsty. Additional buckets of beer are $15.
  • Industry People – 50% off on Tuesdays. Evidently I’m industry. HOLLA!
  • Two Happy Hours DailyHappy Hour 7 days a week and twice a day. Early 3pm-6pm daily, nights change. More details and menu here.

Photo – Courtesy of Mercadito Hospitality

2016 NFL Super Bowl Futures (Yes, Next Year)

NFL Logo

2016 NFL Super Bowl Betting Odds

William Hill is not messing around. They’ve already released NFL Super Bowl futures odds for 2016. Yes, next year.

These will surely change but I figure that I’d share them now to give you something to read in between playoff games.

(As of 1/18/2015)
COLTS 12/1
49ERS 18/1
LIONS 22/1
BEARS 50/1
BILLS 60/1
RAMS 60/1
JETS 100/1
TITANS 250/1