The Olympics are bigger. The World Cup is arguably better. The World Series certainly has more history. But when it comes to the sheer amount of money put down on a bet, nothing beats the Super Bowl.
Last year, this single event saw $4.2 billion tossed around (in the U.S.), with more abandon than the pigskin—and that’s just the amount officially accounted for. In a game where everything has a purse attached to it, the stakes could not be higher.
It is estimated that at least that much will be wagered this year and gambling hubs the world over are already smarting over a game that has not even taken place yet. If there was ever an excuse to hit Sin City, and watch it collectively sweat bullets like never before, this is it. A town famous for its disorientating blitzkrieg of glitz almost every other day of the year, the casinos of the Strip become uniformly football-themed for the Super Bowl.
While Vegas has no shortage of bars, sports bars or even just huge flat screen TVs in every direction, the Vegas sports books are where the real bettors go to watch and wager on the big game. Last year, a record $132.54 million was bet on Super Bowl 50 at Nevada sportsbooks, with the house winning $13.31 million, according to numbers released Monday by Nevada Gaming Control.
So where should you go to watch and wager on the big game, or any sporting event—AFC/NFC playoffs, March Madness, The Masters, Kentucky Derby, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals—for that matter? Here are six we like at GLR.
Lagasse Stadium—Palazzo Casino Hotel
If you plan to bet on one of your favorites, there is no better place to lay down your money and immerse yourself in sports nirvana than Lagasse’s Stadium. Lagasse’s Stadium is a sports book, not an ill-conceived, Emeril-controlled version of Kitchen Stadium. And yes, it does feature some stadium seating in front of a stadium-sized Jumbotron and a menu of high quality Cajun-influenced pub fare. BAM! Everything in Lagasse’s Stadium shows an attempt at sleek, light-colored, lounge-y design. The exact opposite of the dank places at which your uncle used to lose money betting on sports. It was also one of the first casinos to offer In-Running Wagering, which is basically a small iPod-sized device that allows patrons to make real time bets during games.
Race & Sports Book—The Mirage Hotel Casino
Many will argue that The Mirage once had the best sportsbook on the strip. Due to a combination of neglect and the influx of so many new casinos in the early 2000’s it fell way down in the ranks. But a renovation in 2013 brought it back to the top.
In addition to swapping out the old stogy desk chairs with big plush comfortable ones, The Mirage also added a gigantic TV screen that spans almost the entire room—and it’s a big room. This screen is flexible and can fit just about every game with each game being sized to the amount of interest. And of course, this is in addition to the 85 state-of-the-art HD projection screens. Unlike many other sportsbooks you may be able to score a drink ticket here. If you’re concerned about having a seat for football you can reserve a VIP couch. It will cost a few bucks but it guarantees a seat and drink service.
Race & Sports Book—Caesar’s Palace
In terms of sheer popular opinion, there is no denying that Caesar’s Palace belongs atop this list. Voted the best Las Vegas sports betting destination four years in a row by Review-Journal readers, the Las Vegas Sports Book at Caesars Palace is an environment where energy runs high and winning runs rampant as Las Vegas gamblers follow their action on six oversized 12’ by 15’ screens, a 20’ by 50’ LED board and twelve 50” plasma screens throughout the Sports Book on which to view live sporting events, plus 140 sports seats and a 12” flat screen at every table. Overall, Caesar’s is a very fun and comfortable spot that makes it easy to watch a variety of different games at one time.
SuperBook®—Westgate Las Vegas Casino Resort
Slightly off the Strip, near the old Sahara hotel, The Westgate (formerly the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino) is the largest sportsbook in Las Vegas and attracts some of the loudest crowds. It’s almost like being at a game. And yet with with the completion of a new renovation, the 25,000 square foot SuperBook® at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino has further established itself as the world’s most renowned and technologically-advanced sports book.
The newly-renovated SuperBook® features: 4,488 square foot HD video screens (240 feet wide and 20 feet tall, it is the world’s largest indoor LED video wall and the highest resolution screens in Las Vegas), more than 400 comfortable seats and 19 wagering windows, newly-constructed private booths available for parties and corporate get-togethers, all-new, fully-stocked bar to go along with cocktail service and convenient food options at the SuperBook® Deli, interactive player terminals for wagering and an expanded betting menu, including for the ever-popular “Prop” bets. They even have “The Ultimate Fan Cave,” where sports fans can enjoy their favorite events in a custom-built smoke free room offering three giant 120″ HD screens with the capability of showing 12 HD events simultaneously. There is no question Westgate is large and in charge, if not a bit excessive. But hey, this is Vegas.
The Venetian Race & Sports Book—The Venetian
While not quite as large as the screen at Westgate or Caesar’s, the Venetian boasts one of the largest screens in Las Vegas at 10 x 100 feet and able to show 42 independent events simultaneously. The book features 118 personal luxurious betting stations inside a space with perhaps the best lighting and TV screens in Vegas. The Venetian sportsbook is operated by CG Technology (Formerly Cantor Gaming) and looks similar to their other sportsbooks in Las Vegas with red desks and big high back office style chairs. Among other cool features, CG’s technology allows you to bet on games through a smartphone app. So, you don’t even have to leave your seat to place a bet!
Race and Sports Book— The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Though the size of the TVs, comfort of the seats and quality of food and drink are always going to be key components at any Las Vegas sports book, technology (aside from TVs) might be the next X factor. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Race and Sports Book powered by CG Technology is not only a premier destination for sports fans on the Las Vegas Strip, but also represents the future of sports book technology. Bold LED and large-scale, high-definition initiatives create an atmosphere for any fan to become fully immersed in the digital sporting experience.
The book seamlessly integrates advanced wagering technologies into the sophisticated aesthetic of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. A curved Christie Digital Velvet 3mm LED video wall was commissioned to display the day’s top sporting events, measuring 56 feet wide by 8 feet tall. The epic attraction is capable of showing up to sixteen independent video streams simultaneously and is easily configured by the end-user with custom drag-and-drop control software.