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Best Cheap Blackjack On The Vegas Strip

Cheap Blackjack Cards

Blackjack

There are about as many good cheap blackjack games on the Vegas Strip as you might have expected. In other words, there aren’t many. Where you do find good cheap blackjack you should expect that there are only one or two of these tables at most of the casinos listed below. They should be easy to spot since you’ll probably see a large crowd at these tables so you might have to wait for a seat.

For simplicity, I’m using $15 as the cut off for cheap blackjack and just listing the house edge of the games. I’m also listing the casinos alphabetically, and not by the smallest house edge. You can see the full survey here. The list is great and has information on all blackjack at every casino in Las Vegas.

Bally’s – House Edge: 0.57
Caesars Palace – House Edge: 0.57
The Cromwell – House Edge: 0.57
Excalibur – House Edge: 0.66
Flamingo (and Margaritaville) – House Edge: 0.57
The Linq – House Edge: 0.57
Harrah’s – House Edge: 0.55
New York – New York – House Edge: 0.48
Paris – House Edge: 0.57
Planet Hollywood – House Edge: 0.57
SLS Las Vegas – House Edge: 0.48
Treasure Island – House Edge: 0.46 and 0.48
Tropicana – House Edge: 0.57

Updated: March 10, 2017

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Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

The Bellagio Conservatory Christmas display is probably their best display of the year. The Bellagio Conservatory always looks nice but they take things up a notch for Christmas.

I visited last weekend and it was so crowded that it almost impossible to move. You can see my mediocre pictures on Instagram and Twitter. Here are some pretty pictures direct from a professional photographer.

The Whole Shebang

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Polar Bears, Sponsored by soda

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Life Sized Bellagio Snow Globe

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas Display

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New Name For Monte Carlo, Excalibur Expansion, Crystals For Sale, REIT and More From MGM Resorts Earnings Call

Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts

Jim Murren

Earlier today I listened to the MGM Resorts quarterly earnings call. The company has so much going on that they’re easily the most fascinating of the Vegas casino companies to follow.

You can read press releases and listen to the MGM quarterly earnings call here for specifics. Below are my notes with lots of information.

  • Jim Murren said MGM would like to participate in DFS in the future. They’re waiting for clarity in the area. This was last question asked if you’d like specifics.
  • Excalibur is underperforming and Jim Murren discussed idea of mid-scale retail expansion on the Vegas Strip to draw people into property.
  • Murren restated that Monte Carlo will have a new name next year. Outlook is very optimistic for the property.
  • Small note given to the fact that customer booking windows are growing
  • Crystals still on the market by MGM Resorts. There’s plenty of interest. They’re sorting through investors. Murren says it’s worth over $1 billion.
  • Mandalay Bay now has the 5th largest convention center in the US after recent expansion. Details on the expansion here.
  • 2016 should be best year ever for conventions at MGM Resorts. Even with Mandalay Bay expansion they still don’t expect to have enough capacity.
  • Press release on MGM REIT
  • MGM Resorts keeping 2 most profitable properties in Las Vegas out of the REIT (Bellagio & MGM Grand).
  • MGM REIT will be called MGM Growth Properties and be a separate stock offering planned for Q1 2016.
  • MGM Arena not part of REIT because it’s a partnership with AEG. REIT doesn’t include any partnerships like City Center.
  • Non-luxury MGM Resorts properties growing faster than luxury. For example REVPAR for non-luxury up 14%, lux up 6%
  • Aria hotel EBITA up 23% Year over Year. Vdara 0ver 40% EBITA increase.
  • MGM Detroit EBITA only ranks behind Bellagio, MGM Grand & Mandalay Bay. Better than The Mirage, New York New York, etc.
  • MGM hotel rooms had a 96% occupancy rate last quarter. Up 1% from same period last year.
  • Average Daily Room rate for MGM hotels was $141 last quarter. That’s up $10 (8%) from same time last year.
  • Circus Circus is interesting opportunity for MGM seemingly because it’s 100 acres of land on the Vegas Strip.
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Mandalay Bay Sports Book On Deck For Renovations

Mandalay Bay Sports Book

Mandalay Bay Sports Book

Hidden deep inside an awesome #LongRead article called “Evolution of The Sportsbook” on Covers last week was a nugget about which MGM Resorts hotel will renovate their sports book next.

Technically it won’t be next since Monte Carlo is closing and moving their sports book but it looks like Mandalay Bay is on deck for some well deserved changes.

Rood said Mandalay Bay will hopefully get that treatment next spring or summer, with a completion date ahead of the 2016 football season.

This isn’t a proclamation that Mandalay Bay will definitely have their sports book updated but it does fit into a timeline I heard about last year. This would make sense since for MGM Resorts as they’ve updated almost every facet of Mandalay Bay in the past few years (See Delano here, Mandalay Bay here).

A Mandalay Bay renovation would also make sense since MGM Resorts has renovated their other larger sports books at The Mirage, Bellagio, Aria and (soon) Monte Carlo, in the past few years.

The Mandalay Bay sports book space is huge and could be great but is very very dated. The TV screens and seating may be the same from when the property opened in 1999.

The Mandalay Bay sports book ushered in a whole new VIP level of sports book experience years ago. They were one of the first sports books, if not the first, in Vegas to offer bottle service (see Vegas Chatter article). You now see this type of VIP service available at many different sports books around Vegas.

Photo: ATI-AV

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Random Vegas Info From MGM Resorts

Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts

Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts

I’m easily amused. I find random information like the infographic above and the notes below fun and relatively useful. Thanks to this blog post you can now amaze your friends with useless Vegas knowledge from MGM Resorts like:

“Hey, did you know that Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York served 100,000 pints of Guinness?”

  • 7,982,550 pillows fluffed at MGM Grand
  • 3.2 million people who visited The Adventuredome at Circus Circus
  • 1 million Hershey’s Kisses distributed across Las Vegas to celebrate the opening of Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York 
  • 729,753 pizza slices served at Shawn McClain’s FIVE50 Pizza Bar at ARIA
  • 267,436 toilet paper rolls used by the Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo
  • 100,000 pints of Guinness gulped at New York-New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen
  • 96,719 pounds of crab legs cracked at The Buffet at ARIA
  • 52,640 massages and facials enjoyed at Spa Bellagio
  • 46,363 margaritas sipped at Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand
  • 34,580 costume changes by the Jabbawockeez at Luxor
  • 11,336 shows performed by The Fountains of Bellagio
  • 8,464 ice cream flavor combinations offered at BLVD Creamery since its May 2014 opening at Monte Carlo
  • 5,704 corks collected at Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amplified Festival at MGM Resorts Village
  • 5,472 roses distributed by Boyz II Men during “I’ll Make Love to You” at The Mirage
  • $5,000 – The most expensive dish purchased; 26 Fleurburgers sold at Fleur in Mandalay Bay
  • 1,117 ice buckets in the shape of FDR’s hat box, in the suites at Delano Las Vegas
  • 520 victories at Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings
  • 360 pounds of caviar spooned at The Buffet Bellagio
  • 3 new white lion cubs at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage

 

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Nightclub Revenue In Vegas Will Shock You

Steve Aoki At Hakkasan Las Vegas

Steve Aoki At Hakkasan

I know casinos and Vegas but I’m not an investor. Sometimes when I see Motley Fool or other investing websites break out revenue in certain ways I can be surprised.

We all know that nightclub revenue is big for Las Vegas casino operators. What is surprising in this chart is seeing how much of the overall revenue nightclubs are for some of the casino operators.

Las Vegas Casino Nightclub Revenue

Oontz, Loot, Oontz, Loot

Hakkasan (MGM Grand, XS (Wynn) and Marquee (Cosmopolitan) are the Big 3 of nightclubs in Vegas. It comes as no surprise that their revenue last year was about the same (see full article for specifics).

Hakkasan revenue seems to be ahead of the pack this year. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Hakkasan is the largest nightclub with the most famous DJ’s and a marketing arm that will use landmarks like the Bellagio fountains to promote you (See Tiesto show).

Besides the percentage of overall revenue for nightclubs there isn’t much in the chart that’s a surprise. That said, it’s always interesting to see casino revenue examined in different ways.

Photo: Hakkasan 

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The Night The Bellagio Fountains Became An MGM Billboard

Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio Las Vegas

Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio

The Fountains at Bellagio have always been a marketing tool for Bellagio. They’ve been a piece of serenity, beauty and class that represented Bellagio perfectly. They were an attraction created to bring your eyes and mind into a beautiful hotel and casino. The overall experience would leave you with a memory that would last forever.

Bellagio wasn’t just another hotel and casino on the Vegas Strip. The Bellagio was a true luxury property. Few properties on the strip could match its elegance. Bellagio is still a luxury property but it’s elegance will no longer be quite the same.

The Big Baccarat game at Bellagio is still something out of a James Bond movie. This game attracts the highest of High Rollers. These are men in suits and women in fancy dresses or gowns playing a high limits card game. You don’t see this much in Vegas anymore.

Last night was the beginning of a new era for the Fountains at Bellagio

(Watch Tiesto Fountain Show)

Last night Tiesto, one of the most popular DJ’s in the world, debuted a set of music that he scored for the Fountains. Regardless of how you feel about Tiesto’s music this was the beginning of the transformation of Bellagio. This transformation won’t happen overnight but it’s now underway.

Before last night the Fountain Show was a marketing device for a single hotel. Last night the Fountain Show became a marketing tool for MGM Grand and all MGM Resorts properties. Tiesto is a resident DJ at Hakkasan and Wet Republic at MGM Grand. This is classic cross property marketing by MGM. They’re just using a new and unique platform.

The Bellagio Fountains are now marketing collateral for MGM Resorts.

This marriage of Tiesto and the Bellagio fountains is corporate synergy at its worst finest. This marriage is more like an affair as it will burn out when the next pretty thing comes along. It won’t be long before MGM Resorts begins using the Fountains at Bellagio to promote other MGM properties and events.

The marketing of the Bellagio Fountains will remain tame for a little while. They can promote Cirque Du Soleil shows with music from the BeatlesMichael Jackson and other Cirque shows. Once people become used to the fountains being a marketing tool for all MGM properties, instead of something unique and different that represents Bellagio, the marketing efforts from the Fountain Shows will expand.

Traditional musicians you hear now may be shunned for playlists that include resident DJ’s or bands performing at different MGM properties. Next may be the addition of MGM Resorts commercials in between songs.

“Hey bruh, come pound some beer at TAP Sports Bar!” Silence? MGM can’t monetize silence!

Eventually MGM may just use the Fountain Shows with music exclusively as advertising. This is the way marketing is going. Nothing is sacred. Every inch of land must be monetized by casino operators.

It’s not fine to me but that’s life and this is just the beginning of the Bellagio Fountains becoming a marketing tool.

On the other hand if Caesars Entertainment owned Bellagio they’d probably fill in the lake with concrete and put some rides, games and kiosks like a state fair in front of the hotel. Zeppoles are Italian like Bellagio, right?

Tiesto’s Fountain Show at Bellagio isn’t all that bad. It could be a lot worse and it will be. Thinking about the changes coming makes me a little nostalgic for the Bellagio I grew up with. Ahhhh, the memories of the good ole days. Now, get off my lawn.

Photo: Vimeo

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This Derek Jeter Commercial Is Special

Derek Jeter Commercial at Stan's Bar In The Bronx, NY

Derek Jeter at Stan’s Bar

You may know that I grew up in The Bronx and I’m a lifelong Yankees fan. Since moving to Las Vegas I lost some Yankees fandom. I’ve been writing about the Bellagio Fountains all morning and feeling a little nostalgic. Watching this Derek Jeter commercial for Gatorade not only gave me goosebumps but made me a little misty. This commercial is special.

The part of the commercial that really grabbed me was Jeter visiting Stan’s. Stan’s was across the street from the old Yankee Stadium and the bar everyone, I mean everyone, met before the games.

I actually want to buy Gatorade now just to thank them for making this. I could say a lot more but I need to stop. You should just watch and appreciate this commercial.

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The Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio Looks Good

Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio Las Vegas

Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio

I’m not a Tiesto fan nor do I dislike him. He’s one of the most famous DJ’s in the world and whatever. I just prefer a different kind of house music.

Regardless of how I feel about the music the team that puts together the shows for the Fountain at Bellagio did a really good job choreographing the water to the music.

The Tiesto Fountain Show At Bellagio looks good and doesn’t seem out-of-place visually. Sonically is another story. Check it out. The second song starts around 1:50 and that’s really where the cool is.

Photo: Vimeo

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Prime At Bellagio, This Is How Steak Dinner Should Be

About a month ago I visited Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio. Dinner was so flawless that I almost forgot about it. Almost.

Prime sits on the Bellagio lake that looks out onto the Vegas Strip. We planned to sit outside on the patio so we could enjoy the Bellagio Fountain Show but it was a bit hot for that. The sun was setting on a 115 degree day and it didn’t seem like the right time to eat steak outdoors. Call me crazy but steak outside doesn’t sound awesome when it’s still 100 degrees outside. We opted to sit inside and ended up with a seat near the window so we could kinda see the show.

Since this was a birthday celebration dinner started with a couple of drinks. Macallan 12 with 4 cubes (of ice) was how I began the night. As usual the ice was nearly melted when the drink arrived and totally gone when I finally got around to taking a sip.

Macallan 12 At Prime At Bellagio Las Vegas

Macallan 12

Each section at Prime has 3 distinct waiters. SW Steakhouse at Wynn has a similar staffing model and it’s wonderful. You’re always speaking with someone who knows their section of the menu, be it a drink, food or otherwise.

There’s always a waiter checking in to see if you need something. THIS is how dinner at a $100+ per person meal should be served. Thankfully the service wasn’t the only great part of dinner.

Bone-In Filet Mignon At Prime At Bellagio Las Vegas

Bone-In Filet Mignon

I’m usually a New York Strip guy but recently have found myself enjoying a filet mignon my last few times out. When I saw that there was bone-in filet mignon on the menu, I had to have it. If there’s one complaint about the filet cut of steak is that it’s not flavorful. It makes sense since there isn’t much fat to keep the flavor in. The bone acted as a flavor saver (TWSS).

The bone-in filet mignon at Prime was outstanding!

As you can see I was so excited looking at the steak that I couldn’t wait to take a picture before digging in. The steak was so juicy and flavorful that I almost couldn’t believe that it was a filet. The steak was so gentle to the touch that I barely had to put pressure on the knife to cut it.

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Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas