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These 5 Station Casinos Are Upgrading Sports Books

Red Rock Sports Books

Red Rock Sports Books

Green Valley Ranch, Palace StationBoulder Station, Sunset Station, Santa Fe Station will all be upgrading their sports book in time for football season according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Each sports book will include new television screens at individual seats and improved electronic displays for betting lines. Some will receive entirely new viewing screens.

Expect larger sports books like Green Valley Ranch to receive the same beautiful screens that were installed at Red Rock Resort last year. These renovations will begin once March Madness is complete.

Green Valley Ranch won’t be the first Station Casinos sports book to be upgraded. The renovations will roll out beginning this week at Boulder Station where you’ll see new TV screens just in time for the NCAA basketball tournament.

The big change at Palace Station and Boulder Station is that sports book staff will no longer that to update odds and point spreads by hand. Welcome to 1985!

The most interesting note from the article unrelated to the renovations is this: “The growing influence of mobile sports wagering has led to a nearly 53 percent increase in Nevada’s sports betting handle since 2010.”

Visit A Look At The Renovated Red Rock Sports Book for an idea of what the changes will look like at Green Valley Ranch, which has a similar sports book.

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A Look At The Renovated Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

I’ve been posting pictures and updates on the renovation of the Red Rock sports book as it’s been happening here and on twitter, instagram and facebook. Unlike some other recent sports book renovations this was mainly a television screen upgrade. Boy is this an upgrade.

Even at 20% brightness the new screens at the Red Rock sports book are the brightest and clearest screens you’ll find in any Vegas sports book.

The comparison I’ve heard most from the pictures I’ve posted are that they look like The Venetian sports book screens. The Venetian is generally lauded as having the best screens in Las Vegas. I’ll go out on a limb and say The Venetian screens are the second best now and here’s why.

The new 2.5mm NanoSlim LED displays are the largest of their kind in North America. They replace the rear projection systems that were installed when Red Rock Resort opened. The 2.5mm space between pixels offers almost twice the clarity of the old 4mm pixel spacing.

All three of the 17′ x 31.5′ screen use 4K Ultra HD technology and can each be configured to display screens in 45 different ways. That number can and will increase.

Here’s a look at what a typical afternoon at the Red Rock sports book will look like. Notice how the lines are displayed since it’s a slow day.

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

When seasons change and there’s a need to show lines for football, baseball, basketball and hockey the configurations can be changed quickly so you don’t have to wait for rotating boards only showing limited lines. This will be great in the winter.

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

When there are nights with standalone football games the screens can be changed from showing multiple games to one big 17 x 31 foot TV. You could probably see this display from the Vegas Strip if it were outside. Check out that middle screen.

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

The next photo is kind of blurry on purpose (not really but it makes my point). The scroll at the bottom of the screens is huge and easy to read while the fonts used for the lines are smaller and a little more difficult to read unless you have good vision or are close to the screens. The size isn’t bad but it’s something that stood out to me.

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

As I mentioned earlier this was only a viewing upgrade. The seat configuration remains the same with 75% of the seats being chairs and desks while 25% are comfy lounge chairs. I’d prefer the seating to be the other way but the Red Rock sports book still gets a lot of people betting on the ponies.

Red Rock Sports Book

Red Rock Sports Book

Summary

The new screens at the Red Rock sports book are the best you’ll find in Las Vegas. I live right down the street so and my opinion for this sports book may have a little bias.

While The Venetian may offer the best screens on the Vegas Strip but I can’t vouch for it being the best sports book since you probably won’t get a seat during football season unless you’re set up with a CG Technology account and bet with them while you’re watching games.

For comparison 98% of the seating at the Red Rock sports book is open to anyone who visits. The 2% is saved for VIP guests and higher tier Boarding Pass players club members.

The Mirage sports book is great but the clarity of their screens can’t be compared with Red Rock. When Westgate unveils their new sports book screens I’m told they will be similar but not as good as the Red Rock setup.

I’ve been recommending the Red Rock sports book to people even when the screens needed updating. Now that the screens have been upgraded I think the Red Rock sports book is easily one of the best sports books in Vegas. Easily.

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Red Rock Sportsbook Being Renovated

Red Rock Sportsbook

Red Rock Sportsbook

If you’ve read this blog for a while or follow me on twitter you probably know that Red Rock Resort is my 2nd office and local bar. During the summer I’m at the casino at least 2-3 times a week. That covered parking is nice on hot and sunny days.

On a good day I’ll work in a quiet area then head to the sportsbook for some low key work. For the past week or so I’ve noticed that there has been a drop cloth covering one of the large screens. On my last visit (Saturday) I noticed that the cloth moved to the center screen revealing a new clear screen to the left.

You may not be able to tell from the photo above but the clarity from the screen all the way on the right is much much better. The screen upgrade is definitely overdue and come just in time for football season.

While I was in the sportsbook I think I heard improved audio but I could have just been looking for that. I’m told that I’ll get an overview of the full upgrades in a few weeks.

The Red Rock sportsbook is probably the best off strip sportsbook besides the Westgate. I look forward to seeing what else they do. Soon enough.

UPDATE: They’ve installed the 2nd of 3 screens.

Red Rock Sportsbook

Red Rock Sportsbook

UPDATE 2: Screen installation is complete.

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You Have To Love The “Month Of Honor” Promotion At Station Casinos

Medal of Honor Poker Table at Station Casinos Las Vegas

Medal of Honor Poker Table at Station Casinos

When I first moved to Las Vegas I had a choice of 3 casinos to call home. Red Rock Resort, Suncoast and Rampart are all within the length of a song of where I live. I chose Red Rock for a few reasons (there’s an old blog post on it somewhere) but you probably know one of the major reasons is because the sportsbook bar is almost like my local bar.

Station Casinos has also been involved with the community in a very public way since I moved here. In the past they’ve offered veterans free buffets and have donated to the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” fund. Sure these are marketing ploys to get people in the door but they’re offering real value to the community.

This kind of philanthropy is almost as endearing as their 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker. I feel a little less awful when I lose money with Station Casinos. Just a little.

The “Month of Honor” promotion with Veterans Village is a huge expansion on the offers they’ve given to military persons in the past. Instead of trying to paraphrase the information I’ll offer the details in the HUGE press release:

LAS VEGAS (April 27, 2015)- Station Casinos will launch a month-long fundraising effort to raise awareness and funds for homeless veterans and their families who reside at Veterans Village located in Downtown Las Vegas. Proceeds raised throughout May will benefit Southern Nevada’s only 24/7 crisis intervention and housing facility that cares for our local homeless veterans and their families. From May 1-31, all 19 Station Casinos properties and venues including the cafes, casino bars, bingo rooms, spas and gaming areas including designated slot machines, designated blackjack and poker tables will be themed patriotic to signify where the Company will donate a portion of its proceeds and gaming winnings.

[Read more…]

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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

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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

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Secrets Of Finding A Royal Flush

Royal Flush At Red Rock Resort Las Vegas

Royal Flush!

There may not be a secret to finding a Royal Flush, but if you keep your eyes open you may find one.

Red Rock Resort is one of three casinos in my neighborhood but its my favorite. You might know that I consider the sportsbook bar my local bar. If you follow me on twitter you probably know that I’m at Red Rock a few times a week to work, eat, drink and gamble (WEDGeVegas?).

I’ve been in a rut playing video poker over the past year. I play mostly full pay quarter, fifty cent or $1 Jacks or Better or Bonus Poker and hadn’t seen a Royal Flush in quite a while until recently.

Over the summer I began playing nickel video poker games just so I could say I got a Royal Flush with hopes that it would help get my mojo back. After a few sessions at various nickel machines I finally got a sweet Royal Flush. Then I got another. Then I got another. These were nickel games but were still the Royal Flush that I wanted.

My video poker mojo is back and I’m back to playing my normal denominations for the most part.

I’m back to playing video poker with my normal denominations for the most part. However, when I walk by this specific bank of nickel video poker machines and see the progressive is above $525 I’ll always put in a $20 bill. The jackpot never reaches $600 so there’s a good chance that maybe I’ll cash in on a Royal Flush for $20. Since I started doing this a few months ago I’ve hit three progressive Royal Flush jackpots of $525 or more.

When you have a casino that you frequent more often then others, no matter where you live, you notice things most people don’t. In my case it’s a bank of nickel progressive video poker machines right across from Starbucks. My typical visit usually has me in this area so I usually check out this progressive jackpot when I visit.

I first noticed a bank of slot machines that hit progressive jackpots in a similar manner back at Showboat in Atlantic City when I lived on the east coast. I’ve kept my eye open for progressives as well as “lucky machines” even since. You may not want to bring a note pad with you when you visit the casino to mark where you’re playing but you might want to keep a mental note. It could pay off.

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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.

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Gold Fish 3 Slot Machines Hit Red Rock Resort

Gold Fish 3 Slot Machine At Red Rock Resort Las Vegas

Gold Fish 3 Slot Machine

There aren’t many slot machines that make me feel more like an old lady than the Gold Fish series. In part I don’t play the Gold Fish slot machines for this reason very often. The other reason I don’t play Gold Fish very often is that I haven’t liked any of the slots in this series since the original release.

Before grabbing lunch at Red Rock Resort yesterday I noticed that they recently installed a bank of Gold Fish 3 slot machines by WMS Gaming. The game has been out for a while but I haven’t seen it before.

There were two women playing (go figure) and their games were making lots of noise so I figured that I’d drop a bill in and see how the game was. Gold Fish 3 is fun. There are lots of bonuses to keep the game going and the game is big, bright and loud. All features I enjoy in a slot machine.

I enjoyed the original Gold Fish slot machine but haven’t liked any of the games since and stopped playing the series all together. I will definitely play Gold Fish 3 again. Check out the promo video below.

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Video Poker With Keno Bonus Multiplier

Video Poker with Keno Multiplier Bonus

Keno Multiplier

This video poker game with a keno bonus multiplier caught my eye as I was walking to catch some rays and Tecate at the Red Rock Resort pool. I’m a sucker for games like this with a bonus round and never noticed it before and I’m a curious guy so I had to stop and check it out.

I decided to play Deuces Wild because I wasn’t taking this $20 buy-in for 3-play nickel game too seriously. Gameplay is simple enough. The base game is just triple play video poker with a keno multiplier afterwards that can increase your payouts. The game is 5 credits per hand and another 5 or 10 for the keno bonus.

If gameplay is set to fast you can easily miss the keno bonus that occurs right after the video poker game is over. This is simply a different twist on a video poker multiplier. I don’t like keno and there are other video poker games with bad pay tables that have more fun bonus games.

Wheel Poker Deluxe is still my favorite video poker bonus game to blow a few bucks on. I’m glad I checked this game out but I probably won’t again. I like that games like this exist to break up the monotony that I find in straight video poker.

The mighty Wizard Of Odds has expected returns and proper multiplier plays if you’re curious for more information.

 

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas