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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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Scenes From Topgolf Las Vegas

Topgolf Las Vegas

Topgolf

I was lucky enough to get an invite for media night at Topgolf Las Vegas at MGM Grand. I have an article coming on Covers so I’ll save details until then. In brief think Topgolf a must-see for anyone who likes sports and sports betting. Golf is sort of secondary as you’ll see in the photo gallery below.

I’m sharing here in case anyone missed the fun live on snapchat and almost live on twitter. Enjoy the pics!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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Topgolf Las Vegas Opens at MGM Grand May 19

Topgolf Las Vegas

I’ll be visiting Topgolf at MGM Grand for the media preview tonight but figured I’d share the press release with some info in the meantime. Here are my quick takeaways from the press release: There will be a mobile sports book and video poker.

Follow me on twitter and snapchat for info, pics and video tonight.

See press release below.

LAS VEGAS – May 17, 2016 – Topgolf® Las Vegas opens its doors to locals, tourists, golfers and non-golfers alike Thursday, May 19, at 8 a.m., bringing the city a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.

 

Sitting on eight acres just behind MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Topgolf is the only entertainment venue of its kind, boasting 108 climate-controlled hitting bays, two pools, cabanas, a concert venue, VIP suites, five bars, special event spaces, a comfort food-inspired menu with creative beverage offerings, a Callaway Fitting Studio, a Topgolf retail shop, and more. Spanning four levels and 105,000 square feet, the Topgolf flagship location in Las Vegas stands as the biggest Topgolf venue to date.

 

“Topgolf is thrilled to bring a whole new kind of entertainment to the Las Vegas Strip,” said Topgolf CEO Ken May. “There truly is no other place like Topgolf in Las Vegas — or anywhere else for that matter. Our flagship venue is the product of nearly four years of hard work and reimagining what the Topgolf experience could be like. We can’t wait to welcome our fans and new guests from all over the world to play at Topgolf.”

 

At the heart of Topgolf, guests will find interactive golf games in the hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time, featuring lounge-style seating and HDTVs. Golf games can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels, tracking the accuracy and distance of players’ shots through Topgolf’s microchipped golf balls.

 

Each level at Topgolf Las Vegas boasts additional areas to play – from cornhole and shuffleboard to everything in between – as well as various seating areas to hang out, have a cocktail or grab a bite to eat and enjoy the multiple views around the Las Vegas valley and the famed Las Vegas Strip. A mobile Sports Book located in The Yard, the main hub of Topgolf Las Vegas, allows sports fans to place a bet while taking in all the action on one of the venue’s numerous oversized screens. The Yard also serves as home to Topgolf’s main entertainment venue showcasing both national acts and local. The Birdie Bar provides a more intimate live entertainment experience with a small stage perfect for acoustic performances, standup comedy and more.

 

The venue is expected to serve upward of one million guests in its first year of operation and has already created more than 850 full- and part-time positions. It operates Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. Bay pricing starts at $30 per hour for up to six players and varies depending on bay location and time of day. General admittance into Topgolf is free of charge. For cabana and VIP reservations, please contact lasvegasevents@topgolf.com.

 

Topgolf Las Vegas is located at 4627 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89109. For more information about Topgolf, visit www.topgolf.com/lasvegas, facebook.com/topgolflasvegas or @topgolflasvegas on Twitter and Instagram.

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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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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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Who Is The MGM Grand Sportsbook?

MGM Grand Sportsbook Sports Jeopardy On Crackle

Sports Jeopardy

Sports Jeopardy debuted this morning on Crackle. The MGM Grand sportsbook was the question to one of the answers in the Where To Watch The Game category in the first segment. The inclusion of a sportsbook on the first episode is a nice nod to sports gamblers who are likely fans of Dan Patrick and will watch the show.

The show itself is cool as far as sports trivia shows goes but there’s way too many commercials for my attention span. I counted about 4 minutes combined before and after the first segment alone. That’s way too much for a show I’m watching on an iPad. I’d rather they integrated the advertising into the show like Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.

Anyway, here’s a preview of the show. You can download the crackle app for free if you want to watch.

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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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Lion’s Share Slot Machine Off To New Hampshire

Lion's Share Jackpot At MGM Grand Gets A Winner!

Lion’s Share Jackpot Winner!

Say goodbye to Lion’s Share.

MGM Grand has shipped the fabled slot machine off to New Hampshire to be with the couple that won the 20-year-old progressive jackpot a couple of weeks ago.

It was expected that winners of the jackpot would receive the machine as a gift so this isn’t much of a surprise. This takes all Lion’s Share slot machines off the casino floor in all Vegas casinos. None of the other 49 Lion’s Share slot machines that were made are even on eBay.

While we say goodbye to a Las Vegas legend we can look on the bright side. There’s no more standing in line for hours with dreams of a mega jackpot just to blow $100. There are plenty of better ways to kill time and money in Vegas.

Photo: Vegas Message Board

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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.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas