Tag: Vegas Observations

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Observations On Bally's Grand Bazaar Shops

Where: 89109
April 24, 2015 at 2:37 PM | by | Comments (7)

The long walk to the Strip entrance of Bally's has disappeared behind the recently(ish) opened Grand Bazaar Shops that nearly extend to Las Vegas Boulevard now. The first shops actually opened February 26, but it was a recent visit to Bellagio that spurred us to finally swing by the outdoor retail and dining shops.

Our first observation of the shops from across the street at Bellagio was how effective the Swarovski crystal starburst was at drawing our attention to the area in front of Bally's when lit at night. Our second was how easy getting there was. If Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston and Gucci are outside your budget these more wallet-friendly shops are a short walk over and down the pedestrian bridge connecting Bellagio and Bally's.

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Progressive Slot Machines Are Everywhere Now

April 24, 2015 at 1:39 PM | by | Comments (2)

You notice a lot of different things when walking through casinos every week. Sometimes, people catch the eye. Maybe, itís a drink. Maybe, itís something new on the floor. See something once and itís just another ship passing in the night. See it twice and maybe itís just a coincidence. See it everywhere and it's a trend.

Ever since writing about PowerBucks last year, I began noticing more and more progressive jackpots on slot machines. Megabucks, of course, is the big boy of all progressive slot machines in Las Vegas, with huge multi-million dollar jackpots available at just about every casino. Megabucks is interesting because of the jackpots but the games you can play leave something to be desired.

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Total Rewards Has A VIP Inflation Problem

April 16, 2015 at 3:04 PM | by | Comments (21)

Caesars Entertainment, still navigating its way through a bankruptcy years in the making, is gambling with one of the most valuable assets in the casino industry. You probably know that we donít mean the year old, $550 million dollar Ferris wheel. You might have guessed weíre talking about one of the mega resorts that line The Strip, but thatís not it. Itís the Total Rewards loyalty program, valued at more than a billion dollars, that is where all the action is.

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A Leisurely Stroll On The Strip

Where: 89109
April 10, 2015 at 4:44 PM | by | Comments (11)

A photo posted by @muzikbynature on


First, is there such a thing? Maybe leisurely isnít the right word. Enjoyable or surreal, perhaps? Adventurous, almost always. Any given weekend (after that oppressive buzzkill in the sky finally sets) brings an opportunity to take a walk unlike any in the world. The sidewalks up and down the Las Vegas Strip are crowded with people from every walk of life. The people-watching cannot be beat.

Here, you'll experience free range packs of ďwoo!" girls as far as the eye can see. You can snap a photo with an intoxicated Hello Creepy Kitty or Bumblebee Buzzed from Transformers. You'll laugh as the promiscuous (understatement) business cards that litter the street are carefully picked up by teenage boys while mom and dad arenít looking. (Pro tip: Sneak a few of those cards into your friend's luggage on the way home so he can have an exciting conversation when a significant other finds them!)

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There's No Reason Not To Rent A Car In Vegas

April 9, 2015 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (36)

Vegas trips generally donít require much in the way of transportation. Once you get from the airport to your hotel, youíre pretty much set. Iíve spent entire Vegas weekends confined to a single resort property without feeling like we were missing out on anything. And, with so many hotels packed together along The Strip, itís easy to explore on foot if you are so inclined. When your vacation calls for more than casinos have to offer, however, a rental car is the way to go and Vegas is just about the best place in the country to get one.

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Looking For A Good Gamble? Game Selection Isnít Enough

April 2, 2015 at 7:41 PM | by | Comments (9)

Most casino visitors know the odds are stacked against them. Still, itís fun to try and take on the house. Some players go for broke and play games like Megabucks, where the chances of winning are minute but the potential payout colossal. Others pick games like blackjack, where big wins are rare but the chances of leaving ahead arenít so bad. Whatever you choose, itís important to understand game selection alone doesnít determine your odds.

Gamblers thinking theyíll play things safe by sticking to conservative games like video poker and craps often overlook the fact that those games are only safer if played under the correct circumstances. Played incorrectly, either by using imperfect strategy or by making the wrong types of bets, these games can have a house edge as bad as the worst of slot machines. Additionally, even if playing optimally, casinos can change the rules such that the odds arenít as you would expect. Hereís a look at just how widely the house edge can swing on some of the most popular games:

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10 Steps To An Epic Vegas Fail-cation

April 1, 2015 at 11:47 AM | by | Comments (45)

Nobody goes to one of the worldís premier fun destinations planning to have a terrible time. Anyone who goes to Vegas with any frequency, though, can attest to seeing the poor bastard who lost all of his money, or that girl yelling at her boyfriend in the cab line about taking ďone more goddamn step in these heels.Ē Las Vegas is a strange place with more quirks than your weird uncle. When you bring five, six or 10 of your best buds, things can get dicey. Pun intended. Here are 10 fails that will certainly throw a wrench in the gears:

1. Packing your bag in five minutes: If you pack in a rush, youíll forget everything. Some things you DO NOT want to forget: phone charger, dress clothes, belt, sunglasses, swimsuit, dress shoes, casual shoes, flip flops, your unexpired ID and money.

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Boyd Gaming Makes A Lot Of Money From People Visiting From This State

March 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM | by | Comments (7)

If you donít follow the business side of the casino industry, you may be surprised by this piece of information. In the past 10+ years, Boyd Gaming's three casinos in Downtown Vegas, Main Street Station, The California, and Fremont, have generated anywhere from 60-65% of their revenue from people visiting from Hawaii.

How much is that? Well, in the third quarter of 2014 alone, Boyd stated its downtown properties had net revenues of $53.4 million. Thatís an increase of 1.3% from the same quarter a year ago.

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Step Aside Super Bowl, First Weekend Of March Madness Best Sports Weekend In Vegas

March 23, 2015 at 8:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hyperbole has taken over the web in the past couple of years, just about everything is the best ever or the worst ever. This weekend, I ran into a best ever moment in Las Vegas, but it wasnít hyperbole. The first weekend of March Madness in Vegas was probably more than anyone could have imagined. It is now the biggest sports weekend in Vegas. Sorry, Super Bowl, but you can move to the back seat.

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In A Land Of Fine Dining, Fast Casual Still Lines 'Em Up

Where: 89109
March 6, 2015 at 10:47 AM | by | Comments (13)

White Castleís January debut at Casino Royale was chaotic. Today, things have settled down a bit within the castle walls. While lunchtime diners are no longer showing up in such droves they're forcing closures, the debate as to White Castleís position in the burger world rages on. Most seem to agree that a sack of sliders is among the worst meals you can have on The Strip, but lines suggest otherwise. Is it simply the novelty factor that comes with any hyped eatery?

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Gamblers On The Vegas Strip Are Very Different Than Those Downtown

February 27, 2015 at 2:34 PM | by | Comments (17)

Nevada gaming revenue reports are fun to read and you don't have to be a nerd to enjoy them. You†can learn†a lot about people that gamble. How they gamble, where they gamble... it's all fascinating.

When perusing the year-end Nevada gaming revenue reports for 2014†there was a lot of obvious information that most people see on a regular basis. People on the Vegas Strip gamble less than people in Downtown Vegas. This isnít news as the revenue has been trending this way for over 20 years. However, one bit of information really stood out.

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Would You Rather Wager At Sportsbooks Or With Fantasy Sports?

February 25, 2015 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (6)

Whether you agree or disagree that sports wagering and fantasy sports, especially daily fantasy, are gambling, theyíre similar enough to have a comparative discussion. This week, Bloomberg wrote†that fantasy sports websites are positioned to become legal online gambling sites in the future. Fantasy websites tend to argue against that statement since they want to keep their noses clear of online sports gambling which isnít legal in nearly as many states as fantasy sports.

Right now, fantasy sports is living in an online space similar to where online poker was 12 years ago before Black Friday shut down most poker websites in America. The online poker boom was great for poker players†in Las Vegas. Just about every casino opened a poker room because of the popularity explosion.

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