Tag: Vegas Observations

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Slots Too Tiring? These Solutions Have Us Rolling Our Eyes

August 28, 2014 at 3:23 PM | by | Comments (6)

Slots have always struck us as one of the most laidback forms of casino gambling. Play craps and you have to be on your feet. Choose blackjack and you can sit, but keeping track of the game can keep your mind racing. poker’s constant pushing, shoving, and stacking of chips can be exhausting. Even roulette requires some counting and sorting. Slots are the game for the truly lazy. Sit in a chair, sip a drink, and slap a button. That’s all there is to it. Slot manufacturers, however, seem to think the games are still too strenuous. In a never-ending quest to combat slot player fatigue, they’ve introduced some game enhancements that have us rolling our eyes.

First up is an easier way to bet. Hitting “spin” sounds painless enough, but apparently pressing a large round button is a process that needs improvement. Could valuable seconds be lost with each reach of the arm? Or, maybe frequent players are plagued by elbow strain. We’re not really sure where the need for this innovation came from, but remote play buttons are here. Connected to the machine via cabling approximately two feet in length, these handheld devices let you enjoy another spin without the discomfort of raising your arm. You won’t find a cash-out button on the unit and, unless you’re willing to make the grueling reach six inches over, your only option is to continue playing. Sneaky.

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Strip Changes In 18 Pics

Where: 89109
August 26, 2014 at 7:28 PM | by | Comments (10)

The Strip of today is not the Strip of tomorrow. And, when we say tomorrow, we don't just mean the near|distant future, we mean tomorrow tomorrow.

On-going construction continues to bring us a slightly different Vegas each day. Last week, we checked up on six different projects, from the tear-down of a never-completed resort to a casino remodel. The 18 photos below, snapped by Greg C. and @paperposter, were captured between August 19 and August 22. So, yeah, expect five of these projects to be slightly more advanced today.

The Harmon


At The Harmon, the latest phase of a year-long demolition brings a crane and black barrier drapes. The condo-hotel never opened due to construction errors.

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The Rise Of The Smaller Casino

August 25, 2014 at 5:25 PM | by | Comments (4)

Casino openings in Las Vegas are a blast. There are so many new things to do, see and touch. With every new property opening we see the entire hotel and casino concept evolve. Operators follow the money so it's no surprise to see the spread of smaller casinos. When The Cromwell opened earlier this year, few were surprised to see the low-rollin' property become a nightclub that also had an intimate hotel and casino.

It's not news when we say the majority of revenue on the Vegas Strip has been coming from non-gaming outlets. Last year, when Sam Nazarian spoke about his now open SLS Las Vegas, his goal was to reap 70% of its revenue from non-gaming sources. When it was revealed SLS would open with nine restaurants and three clubs it wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone.

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On Paradise, Another Changing Of Letters

Where: 3000 Paradise Rd. [map], 89109
August 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (7)

In a city where the pylons of yesteryear have fallen to taller, flashier, all-digital productions, Westgate is going with the cheaper more cost-effective route of just changing the letters on the old Las Vegas Hilton sign.

The 279-foot-tall structure, featuring more than 70,000 square feet of surface space, was erected in 1997 after severe winds destroyed the marquee before it. At the time, it was declared the largest freestanding sign in the world. We're not sure if that still holds true today (if you are, say so in the comments below.)

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It's Already Time To Start Thinking About That 2015 Trip To Vegas

August 19, 2014 at 4:17 PM | by | Comments (18)

It’s not even Labor Day weekend, but it’s already time to start planning for 2015. Whether you’re a bargain hunter or just a neurotic planner like this writer, you’re always looking for an excuse to plan your next fun experience. When it comes to planning Las Vegas vacations, there are always times when everyone knows it will be busy. New Year's Eve, The Big Game, March Madness, Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend are among the busiest. Cinco de Mayo weekend is also a big one because there’s usually a big boxing match and the Kentucky Derby to go along with all the Cinco de Mayo parties.

In between these busy periods, you’ll find some less expensive times of the year to visit Las Vegas. My favorite time of year is in between Thanksgiving and Christmas (not counting when National Finals Rodeo moseys into town). It’s relatively quiet (for Vegas) and hotels are less expensive. Even living in Las Vegas, I still take a few days off to enjoy the Strip while it isn’t as crowded. I like when the hospitality industry isn’t run so ragged by the constant barrage of tourists and they can pay a little more attention to me. I’m a real fancy boy like that.

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How ESPN's World Series of Poker Coverage Distorts Reality

August 15, 2014 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (10)

Players are trading bluffs and deep penetrating stares on ESPN’s World Series of Poker telecast, airing now through the final table of the Main Event in November.

But, what you see isn’t always what you get. Televised poker often presents a rather misleading look into the world of tournament poker. In addition to some obvious differences, such as, you know, the fact that drunk who gave away all his chips in that $50 Flamingo tournament wouldn’t ever play the $1 million buy-in Big One for Big Drop at the Rio, you’ll find plenty of differences between what’s myth and what’s reality.

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A MyVEGAS Mystery? We’ve Cracked It And The News Isn’t Good

August 14, 2014 at 2:14 PM | by | Comments (30)

Now two years old, social casino game MyVEGAS continues to add new users, new rewards, and new mini-games. Earlier this month, PlayStudios unveiled its latest slot title, China Mystery. New ways to earn those valuable loyalty points are always welcomed, but we were even more excited by the addition of new dining rewards. As we took a closer look at what’s new, however, we were left wishing we could turn back the clock.

Anytime anyone criticizes MyVEGAS they are inevitably met with the same response, so let’s get it out of the way. Yes, the game is free. It’s been possible to rack up free hotel stays, dining vouchers, shopping credits, show tickets, and more, all from day one without spending a dime. For those who joined early on, it’s been a great ride. Many of us here at VegasChatter are MyVEGAS players and this writer alone has racked up at least $1,000 in rewards. That’s the good, on to the bad.

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Don’t Forget This Low Rollers' Paradise, Bro

Where: 2880 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
August 7, 2014 at 12:37 PM | by | Comments (9)

If we ask you to name the top destinations on The Strip for some low stakes gambling, what would you come up with? This writer would fire back Casino Royale before the question mark even makes it out. Pressed for more, I’d name the new O’Sheas, The Quad, and maybe Riviera. All fine picks for a gambler on a budget, but there’s a big one missing from my list. And, as a self-professed low roller, I’m ashamed to admit that I forgot about Slots A Fun.

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Gamble While You Charge Your Phone At Venetian, Palazzo

Where: 89109
July 31, 2014 at 4:46 PM | by | Comments (21)

Tired of losing the charge on your mobile phone while wandering the Vegas Strip? Well, Venetian has you in mind with the most recent addition to its casino.

VegasChatter reader Jeff C. recently spied the installation of Plug & Play mobile charging systems on some of the resort's video poker and slot machines. You don't even need a full charger to get your mobile phone some extra power while you gamble. Just plug a USB cable into the machine and your phone will begin to charge.

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A VegasChatter Reader Dishes On A Stay At Cromwell

Where: 3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
July 31, 2014 at 2:03 PM | by | Comments (9)

With nightlife spots in its basement as well as on its rooftop is The Cromwell just a party hotel? Or, is it a convenient, boutique (by Vegas standards) hotel ideally situated on the center Strip?

Frequent Vegas visitor and VegasChatter reader Keith C. recently checked into The Cromwell -- a renamed and completely renovated Bill's Gamblin' Hall -- and fills us in on the pros and the cons, from the food to the service.

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What Kind Of Gambler Are You?

July 30, 2014 at 4:54 PM | by | Comments (15)

Generally, there are two types of gamblers. There are the serious gamblers who will only play casino games where they have an advantage on the casino or minimal disadvantage. There are also casual gamblers who come to Las Vegas for a good time and don’t really care about the house edge. They just want to have fun. While not adversarial, the two types of gamblers don’t always understand how the other thinks.

Casual gamblers are simply in the casino for entertainment. The money they are risking at casino games is thought of similarly to the budget they’d use for dinner and a show, for example. Gambling is their way of having a good time. Instead of a good meal and Celine, they’ll find fun at 3 card poker or another game with a relatively large house edge for the casino. The fun gambler may even head over to a bar and play the worst odds video poker games anyone will find just so they have a closer proximity to drinks.

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Sigh, Another Vegas Taxi Scam To Look Out For

July 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM | by | Comments (22)

By now, most Vegas visitors have been clued in to the long-hauling game. A simple “no tunnel” as you enter your cab can ensure that your ride doesn’t unnecessarily cost an extra 25% or more. Unfortunately, long-hauling isn’t the only way to be ripped off. As this writer found out during a recent trip to Venetian, cab customers are sometimes being fleeced even before the ride begins.

My group’s night on The Strip concluded with a late dinner inside Venetian and, as we finished off a second carafe of sake at Noodle Asia, we decided on cabbing home. As a Vegas resident, I know how to avoid a long-haul and was expecting an uneventful ride. What I didn’t anticipate, and was disgusted to discover, was a group of Venetian employees attempting to extort money from customers in exchange for bypassing an artificially inflated cab line.

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