Football may take precedence over a few things in your life on Sundays, like family activities or church, but a trip to Las Vegas should not be one of them. With the many football viewing options Vegas offers, you should consider Sin City THE place to catch a game.
Nearly every casino in town has a worthwhile sports book for watching games or placing a wager, but here are some of the best places in Vegas to wear your foam finger.
Football by the book
While the NFL doesn’t like to admit it (see its strict anti-gambling advertising policy), sports books make football more interesting. When the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in last year’s Super Bowl, $82.7 million worth of wagers were placed on the game.
But sports books are more than just a place to throw down your ticket and your hard-earned cash. With a plethora of TVs and Vegas’ penchant for providing VIP accommodations, sports books offer a different dynamic for sports fans.
For example, you can place a wager at a number of places in town or maybe bet your buddy back home $5 on the game, but there are three words that separate your hometown watering hole from the top of the heap in the sporting world: Bar, Book and Bam!
Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo combines everything you love in a bar and a sports book with the tasty flavorings of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. Originally the 40/40 Club founded by rap mogul Jay-Z, the sofa-style stadium seating, skyboxes, luxury boxes, billiard tables and an outdoor patio made for a unique sports book experience.
There are 600 seats and up to 1,300 people can fit into Lagasse’s. There are more than 100 high-definition television screens along with a 9-foot by 16-foot screen that give fans a view no matter where they sit.
Another interesting aspect is that bettors don’t have to leave their seats to make a bet. Thanks to the Pocketcasino, you can be virtually anywhere in the casino and still be able to place a bet. The mobile device comes in handy for bettors who want to experience in-game betting, with the lines constantly changing throughout the game.
Sure a posh sports books sounds great, but that doesn’t even include the culinary samplings of Lagasse himself. The menu carries your typical bar food, but with a dash of Bam! Items include a Kobe/Angus beef burger, a Creole Reuben and Emeril’s Steak Bam’wich with blue cheese slaw and a side of truffle Parmesan potato wedges.
Of course, not every sports book pairs up with a celebrity chef. The Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book has been voted the best sports book in Vegas four years straight by a local Las Vegas newspaper and has done so just by being a good sports book.
The sports book has a VIP-style area, separated by ropes that feature 22 tables with personal monitors on each so you can keep tabs on the game closest to your heart — or wallet. This area is typically reserved for the high-end customers who are looking for some serious action on games.
“During the weekend, the VIP area is based on supply and demand,” said Todd Fuhrman, Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book analyst. “But Monday through Friday we’re going to bend over backwards to get customers in (to the VIP area).”
If you’re not willing to throw down your kid’s college savings, you can enjoy every NFL game and a large number of college games on one of the six 10-foot by 14-foot TV screens or 12 big-screen plasmas that over look the betting counter.
Although Elvis left the building for the final time in December 1976, the theater at the Las Vegas Hilton where he performed more than 800 shows is still being put to good use. The Hilton Theater is home to “Football Central,” where there are 11 screens showing football all day and a 15-foot by 20-foot high-definition screen with theater sound for the feature game of the day.
The Hilton goes beyond just showing all the games. Budweiser, ESPN radio and American Memorabilia, which also sells football memorabilia outside of the theater, will all be on hand every Sunday giving away NFL merchandise, drinks and a number of other items.
“One of the best aspects of this viewing area would be that it’s a smoke-free venue,” said Jay Kornegay, the LV Hilton’s sports book manager. “I believe it’s the only one in Las Vegas. We always get a lot of great compliments about the smoke-free room.”
And in a town full of cover charges and beverage minimums, the best news is that it’s free to get in with doors opening at 9 a.m. each Sunday. The world’s largest sports book is conveniently located next door, where there are a number of betting options, including in-game betting with lines changing during most commercial breaks.
If you come to Vegas for one of the first weeks of the season, but are interested in placing some bets on games for the final weeks of the season, the Hilton can accommodate that as well with lines on all the top games of the year. The San Francisco 49ers are currently five-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in their season finale, which could decide the
NFC West championship. For those looking for a football stadium experience in Vegas there is the MGM Grand Race and Sports Book. Aside from offering 5,300 square feet of bettor’s heaven, there are also skyboxes to give you the feel of a luxury box at your favorite NFL stadium. Each skybox ranges from 300-325 square feet, fits up to 10 guests and features plasma TVs, CD systems and surround sound.
The main area of the sports book features 47 plasma TVs along with 49 individual 15-inch color TVs and three 16-foot by 12-foot screens. At the M Resort, bettors can try their luck at earning a share of more than $150,000 in cash prizes. The free contest runs through the end of the regular season and is open to everyone who signs up for the iMagine Rewards program. Members earn a free weekly entry and up to 10 additional entries daily based on slot points or rated table play.
The contest includes $9,000 in weekly cash prizes with $5,000 going to first place, $2,500 going to second and $1,500 going to third place. Additionally, M Resort will run drink specials for every Monday night game at the nearby 32 Degree Draft Bar, which offers 96 beers on tap.
Football, drinks and food
Combining football with more than 50 beers on tap sounds like a sports lover’s dream. The Pub at Monte Carlo does exactly that with some of the best beer prices on the Strip. Pints start off at $3.95 and buckets go for $19.95. There is a $10 per person, per hour minimum, but with all the beer and food choices, that shouldn’t be an obstacle.
If you’re planning a Sunday marathon of football consumption, try the VIP package with sofa seating. For $150 per person you get all you can drink wells, drafts and house wine along with appetizers, flatbreads and burgers.
Additionally, fans that wear their team colors with jerseys, hats or T-shirts can earn free shot giveaways during college football games.
If you’re looking to watch your alma mater on Saturday afternoons, swing by Rockhouse Bar and Nightclub, located in front of the Imperial Palace. The party gets started at 3:30 p.m. with 28 high-definition TVs showing the action.
Patrons will receive two-for-one Bud Light bottles during the games and when Rockhouse turns into a nightclub at 10 p.m. you can either celebrate your team’s win or try to forget about it while watching the attractive staff swing on tires over the bar.
The perfect compromise for those football fans who brought their kids along is at Circus Circus. Let your spouse take the kids on the roller coaster and other rides at Adventuredome while you sneak away to Rock & Rita’s for 25-cent wings and some flair bartending. Circus Circus’ newest bar is almost giving away wings whenever a college or professional game is on and offers a $6.99 brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Throw in some $4.25 draft beers and you may want to let the kids stay at Adventuredome a bit longer.
With some luck of the Irish you might win a trip the Super Bowl. McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon in the Rio is giving away two tickets to the Super Bowl and all you have to do is buy a bucket of Budweiser during Sunday’s games or a bucket of Coors Light during Monday night games. Each bucket purchase will earn you a raffle ticket to be entered into the drawing.
The contest runs from the first week of the season until the end of the season and you must be present to win, but the good news is that there is no limit to how many raffle tickets you can earn.
Additionally, McFadden’s will give away NFL regular-season tickets, merchandise and beer on game days. And if you don’t hit it big at the sports books, McFadden’s will trade in your losing ticket for a drink on the house.
If you sign up for the Wynn’s Pro Football Survivor Contest you could win a guaranteed $100,000. Simply sign up by Sept. 11, pay a $100 entry and select the winner (no spread) of just one game weekly. If you win, you advance.
For those looking for a bigger payoff, M Resort is offering a high-stakes $100,000 buy-in football contest. With a $100,000 buy-in, bettors can win by picking the winners of five games each week against the spread. All fees collected will be returned in the form of winnings to the lucky few who place in the top three. The first-place winner receives 70 percent of all entry fees, while second gets 20 percent and third takes 10 percent.
Station Casinos are offering a “No Lose” guarantee with prizes and cash valued at $1.4 million. The Great Giveway Football Contest is $25 per entry and if you buy two entries you get the third free.
The person who picks the most winners at the end of the season will receive a new Dunhill home, while the person who picks the most losers also walks away a new Dunhill home. Other weekly prizes include a Chevy Camaro or Silverado.
If by the end of 17 weeks you fail to pick a winner once, Station Casinos will give you back your entry fee. To be eligible, you must sign up by Sept. 12 at any of the 16 Station Casino locations, which include Sunset Station, Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock.
With all the options Vegas provides, you would be hard-pressed to miss any football games. Sure the fountains at the Bellagio might be tempting, but they’ll be there after the game too.