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Vegas News / Vegas On Strike / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont Street / Fremont Street Experience / The D hotel / Plaza / Main Street Station / Las Vegas Club / Golden Nugget / Golden Gate / Fremont Hotel / Four Queens / → All Tags
The local news in Las Vegas isn’t always that interesting outside of Las Vegas. As last week ended, the local news turned into news that would affect tourists and residents alike. The local Culinary and Bartenders Union approved a strike against 10 Downtown Vegas casinos.
Binion's, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Las Vegas Club, Main Street Station, Plaza and The D all have expired contracts with the union. Shortly after the strike was approved, the union started getting their troops in order to picket outside the hotels beginning April 12.
When guests visit Vegas, one of the things they are frequently surprised by is the abundance of free parking. In cities like New York and LA where parking is a premium, it is just added in to the cost of a night out. In Las Vegas, where casinos are eager to take your money in other ways, parking on The Strip and downtown is largely free.
With the Zapposification/downtown revival, aided in large part by new dining opportunities and The Container Park, many venues are seeking to charge for parking now.
Gambling / Video Poker / Downtown / Main Street Station / The California / Las Vegas Club / Downtown Vegas / Plaza / The D Hotel / Golden Gate / El Cortez / Golden Nugget / Fremont / Four Queens / Downtown Grand / La Bayou / Mermaids / → All Tags
Last week, we reported that Downtown Grand lowered its video poker pay tables shortly after they opened. Nobody was happy to see this reduction so quickly, but Downtown Grand's video poker only went from bad to worse. Most people concerned with playing good video poker games wouldn't have played the better option at Downtown Grand, anyway.
The reaction to Downtown Grand's video poker pay tables led us to check out how other downtown casinos compare. According to vpFREE2, there are plenty of good video poker games to be found downtown. Here's a list of the best games in each casino with percentage of return. They're broken down only by the best game(s) offered. Click on each game listed to find details on how many of those games are in that casino, where they are located, and what other good video poker games are available.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Main Street Station / Triple 7 / Dining / Lunch / Fremont Street / Eating / Restaurants / → All Tags
While cruising around downtown recently, we came across a new way to gamble. And, no, it’s not by throwing quarters at the almost finished Slotzilla. This wager is in regards to the speed of service at one of Main Street Station’s restaurants. Perhaps inspired by the old Domino’s pizza guarantee, Main Street’s Triple 7 Brewery is betting they can serve you lunch in 20 minutes or less. If they fail, you don’t pay.
The offer is only available on weekdays. Our guess is that it’s designed to attract employees of nearby businesses who don’t have time for a leisurely lunch. Triple 7 typically isn’t an in-n-out type of place. With a great selection of award-winning microbrews, many patrons opt to stick around for awhile. That likely will not be the case during lunchtime, however, as Triple 7’s full menu isn’t available as a part of the promotion. It looks like they have selected mostly easier to prepare items, so don’t count on winning this proposition.
Sportsbooks / Main Street Station / The California / Las Vegas Club / Downtown Vegas / Plaza / The D Hotel / Golden Gate / El Cortez / Golden Nugget / Fremont / Four Queens / William Hill / Station Casinos / Downtown Grand / → All Tags
Downtown Vegas is great in so many ways and is getting better by the day. There are new restaurants and bars popping up nearly as quickly as we can say Downtown Vegas. Gambling is alive and well there, too, but there's one thing that's lacking for sports bettors. Unlike casinos on the Vegas Strip, not every downtown Vegas casino has a sportsbook. Sure, you can watch the games at many bars, but you can't always wager and watch at the same place. With football season coming up, we thought we should rundown the sportsbooks in Downtown Vegas:
The Plaza introduced a big, bright renovated William Hill sportsbook earlier this year (seen above) and they share it with sister property, Las Vegas Club. This is probably the largest sportsbook in Downtown Vegas with easy access to Pop Up Pizza. There are plenty of tables and chairs for you to eat. It's almost as if they're encouraging us to eat pizza. Twist our arm.
Main Street Station / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / B Connected / Fremont Street / Off Strip / → All Tags
Main Street Station reigns supreme among Downtown Vegas. That is, according to users of online review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Guest reviews on both rank Main Street at, or near, the top for downtown hotels almost all time. So, what’s the secret? Lower prices? Better location? Superior amenities?
Pricing doesn’t seem to be the answer. A quick check of rates for some upcoming weekends in September revealed that Main Street’s prices were about average for the downtown area at about $95 per night. Newly remodeled The D would have been an additional $40 each night. At the other end of Fremont, El Cortez rooms were available for as little as $68 a night. All a bargain when compared to prices on The Strip which started around $150 a night for the same dates and would have required additional resort fees.
Gambling / Craps / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / The D Hotel / El Cortez / Golden Gate / Las Vegas Club / Riviera / Stratosphere / Binions / Four Queens / Casino Royale / Main Street Station / → All Tags
The best games in the casino aren't always the games with the best odds, but it's nice when they are. Craps happens to be both. The casino only has a house advantage on pass line (or come) bets of 1.41%. This is among the smallest advantages the casinos have on gamblers. We can further minimize that house advantage by playing craps games that allow us to place higher odds behind our pass line bet. Pass line odds come with no house advantage and help shrink the overall house advantage. Why not take advantage of what's technically a free bet?
We'll play craps (or any game) wherever we happen to be, but it's nice to know where the best odds can be found. This helps us plan outings to specific casinos that meet our social and gambling goals. Many Strip casinos have 3-4-5x odds (3x odds on the 4 or 10, 4x odds on the 5 or 9 and 5x odds on the 6 and 8) (good eye rollie) so it often doesn't matter which casino you play at on the Strip. 3-4-5x odds isn't bad, but you can find better if you look for it. There's much more variety in craps odds in Downtown Vegas.
While sitting at the bar playing video poker and drinking a 777 beer at Main Street Station last week, we heard an unusual announcement. The casino was alerting guests that a slot tournament would be taking place in a half hour and that there was still room to sign up and play. We've played in slot tournaments before and didn't find them very interesting so we stayed at the bar, playing video poker and sipping beer.
Every other slot tournament we've come across before was promotional and had no entry fee. These tournaments were used to lure customers into the casino. If you're staying overnight (or two nights) at a casino, you're bound to spend some cash there. It's a great promotional tool and a good excuse for customers to visit a casino. The Big Kahuna Tournament at Main Street Station is different, though.
Main Street Station / Triple 7 / Burgers / Beers / Drinking / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
Main Street Station has only two dining options in the hotel, the Garden Court Buffet and Triple 7 Restaurant & Microbrewery. When exploring the hotel last week, we decided to sit down at the Triple 7 (aka 777) for lunch and also picked up a sandwich to go for a late night dinner.
The setup of 777 is as you'd expect for a bar/restaurant. The first thing this writer noticed were the amount of TVs. They were everywhere and this is a good thing since there isn't a sportsbook on the property. Seating isn't fancy, but it's functional with plenty of options, from sitting at the bar to butcher block tables that are set up for larger parties.
Main Street Station / Boyd Gaming / B Connected / Players Clubs / Golden Gate / Fremont Hotel / Tours / → All Tags
We've been to Main Street Station before for the gambling. 20 times odds with $5 minimums may be the perfect game for the cost conscious craps player. Comp'd 777 micro brews and full pay video poker at the bar make the beer drinking gambler happy. This was our first time, however, checking out the hotel.
If you just walk into the casino to gamble, you may not notice the train station motif evident by the name. You'll see how obvious it is when you walk towards the lobby. The rooms, though, aren't treated with that same motif. The decor seems to be a more modern take on 80s design as you can see in the video below. Meaning the style looks old, but the furniture looks new. Overall, the rooms at Main Street Station aren't very flashy, but they are clean (except the windows) and among the most comfortable rooms in downtown Vegas.
Gambling / Main Street Station / Boyd Gaming / B Connected / Players Clubs / Gold Coast / The Orleans / Fremont Hotel / → All Tags
Boyd Gaming is one of the more overlooked casino hotel companies in Las Vegas because their properties are seen as locals joints. This should not be the case, especially for the low rolling gamblers. Our B Connected app tells us that, this month, Boyd Gaming is offering 5X players club points on machines at any of their Las Vegas properties.
While Boyd Gaming properties aren't on The Strip, you can get affordable rooms just off Las Vegas Boulevard at Gold Coast or The Orleans and downtown at Main Street Station and Fremont Casino. There are other Boyd Gaming properties in Las Vegas, but those are our favorites because of location as well as gambling, eating and drinking options. Boyd Gaming also has properties all over the country so you can earn and use points in places outside of Vegas.
Boyd Gaming / B Connected / Players Clubs / Social Media / Gold Coast / Main Street Station / Punk Rock Bowling / → All Tags
Boyd Gaming, home to Gold Coast and other casinos across Vegas (and America), has just launched an update to their B Connected players club with the "next generation of B Connected Online." They're touting “B Connected Social” as the first social
gaming gambling platform linked to a casino industry loyalty program.
Through B Connected Social, members can now earn “Social Points” for using various features of B Connected Online or other Boyd Gaming websites -- such as booking rooms or logging onto B Connected Online – as well as promoting their activities, offers, and events on major social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Foursquare.
In addition to competing with other B Connected members and earning “badges” for various achievements, B Connected Social users can redeem Social Points for entries into regular giveaways for valuable prizes.
“Since its launch three years ago, B Connected Online has become one of the gaming industry’s most visited websites, receiving numerous national awards for its ease of use and highly personalized information,” said Paul Chakmak, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Boyd Gaming. “The popularity of online social gaming is exploding, and we are confident the groundbreaking features of B Connected Social will further distinguish B Connected Online as the leading website in the gaming industry.”