post

First Impressions Of SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Carpet

SLS Las Vegas Carpet

My first impression of SLS Las Vegas is positive but not perfect. Nothing is perfect as far as I’m concerned. I’ve already detailed some of the flaws from the first few days of business in a separate post.

1. The Setup

The pre-opening moniker SLS Las Vegas used to describe the property was “affordable luxury”. That set up for the hotel to be fancy on a budget. For example there’s no way to make Ikea furniture feel luxurious but it can look nice. With that in mind I went in with limited expectations.

2. Casino Layout

SLS Las Vegas Casino

SLS Las Vegas Casino

I care more about the casino than most of SLS Las Vegas. The floor plan is only 60,000 square feet. If you ever visited Sahara this is 20,000 square feet less. The floor plan is small, which is fine but there are choke points that make it almost impossible to go to certain parts of the casino. The high traffic walkway by table area near the players club and The Griddle is tight and will always be busy. There are similar choke points on the slot floor that will be impossible to walk through because machines are packed so closely. Just scope out areas before sitting down at a table or machine.

Layout aside there are ample 3:2 blackjack games for $5 and $10. Craps has $10 minimums. There is decent video poker and all new slot machines. I dig all of this and wouldn’t mind gambling here. US Poker has a breakdown of most of the games.

Parts of the casino floor seem dark and that can make the tight casino feel almost claustrophobic on busy nights. This feels like a casino I’d visit during the day more than at night.

3. Umami Burger – Sportsbook – Beer Garden

Umami Burger Entrance At SLS Las Vegas

Umami Burger Entrance

This is the part of the casino I was most looking forward to. A sportsbook that serves good burgers and good beer? This might be heaven. It is and it isn’t. This isn’t a sportsbook.

Umami Burger a sports bar/restaurant with a patio and a place to bet on sports. Burger prices are between $12 and $15. Not too bad for the Vegas Strip. Draft beers are around $9-10 and bottles start at $5. There are no drink tickets from William Hill for sports bets as of opening but I think that will change. If you drink/eat at the video poker bar your drinks will be comp’d while you have money in play.

Umami Burger Bar At SLS Las Vegas

Umami Burger Bar

I really like this as a restaurant. Like I said in Vegas Chatter this is a good sports bar/restaurant but it’s not a traditional sportsbook. It should be packed with sports fans for big events but expect to see kids and families in the mix on other days. Even thought it’s not a traditional sportsbook this is my favorite spot at SLS Las Vegas.

Note, you can still sit and watch games without spending any money. However, if there are paying customers for Umami Burger you’ll politely be asked to leave if you’re not spending money.

4. Dining and High Priced Drinks

[Read more…]

post

Searching For Flaws At SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Carpet

SLS Las Vegas Carpet

I like SLS Las Vegas. I might like it a lot but it’s too early to tell. Like everything in life SLS Las Vegas has some flaws. During the week I’ll going a bit deeper into the things I like but I want to touch on some things that I’ve seen and heard that stand out on the less than awesome side.

These are just meant as a heads up for visitors and not a take down of SLS. You can’t judge any business on 2 days of operation.

SLS Las Vegas has already started to address some complaints from the first two days of business (beer prices for one) and it will be interesting to see how else they handle early complaints.

Dark – The casino is kind of dark. There’s little natural light and what light they have isn’t very bright. I didn’t spend much time in the casino so I’m not sure if this is a sleep inducing kind of dark or if it creates some intimacy. If you like natural light hang out near the Vegas Strip side. There’s a blackjack pit near the Vegas Strip entrance and Umami Burger has light from the beer garden.

Tight – Even though there are less 200 less slot machines than the Sahara had the slot floor can be tight. If two people are playing back to back in some areas it may be impossible to pass. When The Griddle or The Code booth are busy the pit of blackjack tables becomes uncomfortable. I’m not sure this can be fixed so these are just spots that I’ll avoid.

Hidden Buffet – The buffet is on the second floor and there’s limited signage that I can remember pointing people there. The setup is nice if you like a buffet but you may have to remember that you want it. I think it’s great to have the buffet on the second floor as it will keep kids/families out-of-the-way from the rest of the property for a while.

Drink Prices – Drink prices across the board are kind of insane. Most draft beers (a good selection) at Umami burger are around $10 or more. Cocktails at other restaurants are $14-$15. A bottle of soda (no fountain drinks) at Umami Burger is $5(!). Large Iced Coffee at The Perq is more than $5. These are more in line with Vegas Strip luxury hotel prices than a middle tier hotel. Umami did drop a bottle of Stella Artois from $8 to $5 last night so it looks as though SLS Las Vegas will offer some options to the prices.

Trying Too Hard – I like a lot of the design touches on the main floor of SLS but some have mentioned that it comes across as trying too hard to be cool. It’s almost as if there’s too much design effort which comes off as obnoxious. To each their own.

Small Rooms – You should know the basic rooms are some of the smallest on the Vegas Strip. If you’re not aware of the size it will bother you. They try to mask the small size and bad views with design but the bones are the bones.

In The Hood – You’re kind of in the hood when you’re outside of SLS. There are plenty of security guards on and around the property to remind you of that.

Slow Elevators – The building is old and the elevators haven’t been replaced and have been getting wonky already. This was a problem for some people in the garage over the weekend. On my Friday tour the World Tower elevators didn’t want to close. In their defense we had to be over capacity with too many people.

Here are links to pictures I took over the weekend if you’d like to get an idea of what SLS Las Vegas looks like.

11 Nuggets of carpet

Umami Burger/Sportsbook/Beer Garden

Friday – A boatload of pictures from all over

Saturday – Just a few casino pics

 

post

Lion’s Share $2.4 Million Jackpot Hit At MGM Grand Last Night

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

Lion’s Share Jackpot Winner!

Some time around midnight last night MGM Grand tweeted that somebody had won the $2.4 Million Lion’s Share jackpot that’s been building for 20 years. That tweet has was deleted when I woke up this morning. It used an old picture not showing the winning pull so it didn’t seem legitimate anyway.

Questions were flying on twitter whether or not the Lion’s Share jackpot was actually hit. At 12:24, while at the opening of SLS Las Vegas, the usually reliable Norm Clarke confirmed that a couple from New Hampshire did win the Lion’s Share jackpot.

Well, there goes my retirement plan.

People would stand in line to play Lion’s Share at all times of the day for their shot at the huge jackpot. There have been rumors that the winners of the jackpot would receive the actual slot machine but here’s no confirmation of that.

If you played Lion’s Share simply because it was an old game, you can head towards the sportsbook and play Sigma Derby. If you’re looking for a game with a big jackpot (but really bad odds) you can head over to a MegaBucks slot machine at any casino.

Photo: Vegas Message Board

post

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.

post

Spy Vs. Spy Slot Machine From WMS Gaming

Spy Vs. Spy Slot Machine From WMS Gaming

Spy Vs. Spy Slot Machine

I saw this Spy Vs. Spy slot machine from WMS Gaming at G2E last year and wasn’t very excited by it. I think that it’s because I don’t have a strong bond with the Spy Vs. Spy theme. Watching the video for the game is actually making me rethink how I feel about the game.

Spy Vs. Spy is a reel slot machine that uses video for bonus rounds really well. I don’t think I’ll love the game but it looks much cooler than many of the slot machines that have come out recently.

Check out the video and game details below. Will you play Spy Vs. Spy when it hit casinos?

The SPY Vs. SPY theme utilizes a unique battle mechanic where the game is always in one of two modes: WHITE SPY or BLACK SPY.

Watch as the Spies fight to land in the “versus” location, the center position of the rightmost reel, to take control of the game, and put it in either WHITE SPY Mode or BLACK SPY Mode.

Collect WHITE Spies in WHITE SPY Mode, or BLACK Spies in BLACK SPY mode, to pay and increase the meters above. Landing a WILD in “versus” location will pay and increment all top screen meters. Choose your spy in the free spin bonus and get a multiplier if your Spy wins.

Featuring a round top with glass over an incandescent LED monitor, and a clear LED panel that allows full visibility of the reels, this low-denomination Blade stepper theme is sure to catch your attention- no booby-traps needed!

post

Gamble With Asteroids, Centipede And Other Atari Games

Atari Casino

Hey, It’s The Atari Casino

It looks as if the Atari Casino will be launching online in just a few months.The casino will offer gambling for real and virtual currency.  Atari Casino will be considered a social gaming platform since gambling is a dirty word more than simply an online casino. The casino will available on the Web, as well as Facebook and mobile devices.

Even though I never owned an Atari video game system when I was growing up (I was a ColecoVision guy) I played their games way too often. Older brands like Atari are a link to my childhood and that’s what they’re is banking on to acquire players.

The idea of gambling online isn’t very attractive to me because I prefer gambling with some form of human interaction. Having said that I might consider playing craps, slot machines or blackjack at the Atari Casino if it’s branded with Centipede, Missile Command or Asteroids for a little while. This might not be Atari’s only gambling play. Last year at G2E I reported that IGT was re-introducing skill-based gaming with a Centipede branded slot machine for Vegas Chatter. We shouldn’t expect to see anything in casinos until next year. Photo: Engadget

post

Top Dollar: My Favorite Slot Machine

Top Dollar Slot Machine Bonus

Top Dollar Bonus

Over the years I’ve written about the original Top Dollar reel slot machines a lot. They’re by far my favorite slot machine and probably the game that got me into playing slot machines. Most 3 coin reel slot slot machines are boring but the loud and obnoxious bonus round totally fits what I like in a slot machine. Check it out.

If you search Top Dollar slot wins on YouTube you’ll notice that many of the people playing Top Dollar are loud and kind of obnoxious – just like the game. And like the Top Dollar slot machines everyone is having fun. When I get a bonus (see photo above) I’ll usually throw my hands in the air and dance a little.

When I was at Flamingo a few weeks ago I played this quarter game to start off my day of gambling. I like to ease into a day of gambling with a lower limits machine even though I prefer the $1 or $5 version of this game. I’m usually just not ready for human interaction and don’t like to risk much the first thing in the morning or afternoon.

These Top Dollar reel slot machines are slowly disappearing from casinos. New casinos opening don’t want the older machines and older casinos don’t want to seem old. There are new versions of Top Dollar but they aren’t as fun.

You won’t find this Top Dollar slot machine in the regular casino at Cosmopolitan or Downtown Grand and probably won’t find it when SLS Las Vegas opens. You may find Top Dollar in some of their high limits rooms though. You’ll also be able to find Top Dollar in larger casinos with sections of older machines like Flamingo or Mandalay Bay. Get em while you can!

post

You’ll Find Deep Fried Twinkies In Downtown Vegas At Mermaids

Find Deep Fried Twinkies at Mermaids Casino Downtown Las Vegas Fremont Street

Find Deep Fried Twinkies At Mermaids

I’ve never had a Deep Fried Twinkie and probably never will. It just doesn’t sound appealing. I’d rather waste $1 on something else that’s bad for me. Maybe a Deep Fried Oreo.

I’ve only been to Mermaids in Downtown Vegas once in my life. That was my first visit to Downtown Vegas. It’s a small slot machine only casino with no hotel. The one thing that they have you can’t find at any other casino in Las Vegas are Deep Fried Twinkies.

I always get Mermaids confused with La Bayou which is the other slot machine only casino without a hotel on Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas. La Bayou doesn’t have Deep Fried Twinkies. It’s too small.

The only reason to visit La Bayou is for the single line nickel slot machines and fast drink service. Hey, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Remember:

  • Mermaids – Deep Fried Twinkies.
  • La Bayou – Single line slot machines and fast drink service.

This blog post is as much for you as it is for me since I never remember the difference. Have fun getting fat and drunk!

Photo: Dickies Universe

post

Big Deal For Slot Machine Manufacturer That You’ll Probably Never See

Walking Dead Slot Machines

Walking Dead

Aristocrat Technologies announced a major acquisition a few days ago when they purchased Video Gaming Technologies (VGT) for about $1.3 billion. According to Bloomberg this would triple Aristocrat’s slot machine space on casino floors in North America.

The acquisition would boost Aristocrat’s exposure to 28,400 machines from 8,200 in North America.

This should give Aristocrat more slot machines on casino floors in North America but you probably won’t notice. The majority of VGT’s slot machines are located in Native American casinos and smaller emerging markets across the United States.

Aristocrat is one of the slot machine manufacturers taking floor space away from IGT in larger casino markets like Vegas. While they may have paid a premium for VGT this all but makes them king of slot machine manufacturers on casino floors across America.

You probably won’t see major changes with Aristocrat in the near future but that should change over time. The revenue from this deal can make Aristocrat a serious player for major world-wide slot machine (include bingo and lottery games) licenses.

This is only just the beginning and it could really become a big deal for slot machine players and casinos alike.

post

LVH Is Out, Westgate Las Vegas Is In. Here’s What To Expect.

Westgate Las Vegas Marquee

Westgate Las Vegas Marquee

Last week LVH was sold to Westgate. In turn the hotel formerly known as LVH, Hilton and International will now be known as Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The purchase price was somewhere around $180 million and the owner says that they will put more than twice that much into rehabbing the old property.

A lot of changes are planned for the new Westgate Las Vegas, here’s what you need to know:

[Read more…]

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas