When I first heard about outdoor gaming at Downtown Grand I freaked out a little. I envisioned a closed off street with a pit of blackjack and craps tables. My initial thoughts were grand. I saw a big street party surrounding my favorite leisure activity.
My visions of grandeur were quelled a little as the PR people repeated that there would only be two blackjack tables and a non-craps dice game. That’s okay, I still had grand visions. I’m a dreamer and I like awesome things.
The outdoor gaming area wasn’t open for the soft opening over the past few weeks but grand opening of Downtown Grand is today and the blackjack tables have been placed outside. The dice game isn’t available to play just yet. Both blackjack tables face a wall with a TV on a raised part of the sidewalk with a bar separating the space.
I don’t want to stare at a wall when I gamble and I don’t want to leave my back exposed to anybody just walking down the street. Anyone on the street could sneak up on players and do whatever without them having any idea that they could be in harm’s way. Downtown Vegas may be safer than it was 10 years ago but it’s still not the safest area in Las Vegas.
This feels unsafe. Facing a wall and gambling feels unsafe even when it’s inside the high limits room at Downtown Grand with security personnel nearby and hundreds of cameras. There’s less risk inside but facing a wall and not seeing what’s around doesn’t feel comfortable.
Underwhelming and unsafe seem like appropriate descriptions of the outdoor gaming at Downtown Grand. Maybe that feeling will change when the tables are up and running but I doubt it. At least the blackjack inside Downtown Grand pays 3:2, is dealt from a shoe and has $5 minimums.
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