In my eyes, there’s no such thing as a bad Las Vegas sports book. There are only degrees of how good a sports book is. You won’t find the same kind of environment where anyone can watch and legally wager on sports anywhere else in the United States.
We all have a different taste for how to watch and wager on the games. My preferences often take me to great casinos with large sports books. I usually enjoy watching sports with a large crowd cheering. Sometimes, I’m just in the mood to watch the games and not be bothered. Those are both possible in the larger sports books. On the other hand, I sometimes go to mellow sports book with cheap drinks and food for a different experience.
Every Las Vegas sports book offers something different. I’ll detail the six sports books in Las Vegas that I frequent most often. I guess they’re my favorites but I don’t like to get too caught up in rankings.
I’m including a list of honorable mentions for sports books I like but just don’t visit very often. Some of these sports books are new or just a little less convenient. I could talk about Las Vegas sports books for hours but I’ll save that for another day.
The Mirage is always the first casino out of my mouth when someone asks what sports book they should go to. The most important thing in real estate and Las Vegas is location. About 75% of people visiting Las Vegas say they stayed on the Vegas Strip (See 2016 LVCVA visitor profile). Convenience is a major pro for The Mirage sports book.
There are a lot of free places to sit in the sports book but they’re first come first served. The Mirage also has plenty of VIP seats and couches if a visitor would rather pay to ensure a seat then arrive early to snag a freebie. Some of the seats even have Suzo Happ interactive tables to play games and watch other TV.
The screens are huge although there are better in Las Vegas. The sports book is open to the casino and often gets overflow traffic from guests just walking around the casino. This helps build the buzz in the sports book.
I’m at The Mirage sports book more than any other on the Vegas Strip. Even when it’s not busy the chairs are comfortable and cocktail service is fast. This sports book is a great option for any kind of game. It’s especially fun for football games and big events.
Red Rock Casino
I’ve lived near Red Rock Casino since moving to Las Vegas and it’s like my second home and office. That said, the sports book installed three beautiful 17′ x 31.5′ 4k Ultra HD screens in 2015 (see pictures and review here) that still look fantastic. Until the Westgate renovated the SuperBook last year these were the best screens in any Las Vegas sports book. The sports book is huge with four kinds of seating and an attached bar with a great progressive 8/5 Bonus Poker game.
I’ll sometimes work in the nearby food court at Red Rock Casino and walk over when I hear roars during big games. The crowd gets loud and can be heard throughout this half of the casino. Red Rock is about 20 minutes away from the Vegas Strip and has local crowds that rival the big boys on the Vegas Strip. Lastly, they have local casino prices on booze during football games. You can walk into the sports book during football games and have a bucket of five beers for less than $10. The same bucket costs 3-4 times that on the Vegas Strip.
This is another large sports book with huge LED screens. Even though the sports book is closed off to most of the casino you can see the brightness of the screens from over a hundred yards away.
The high back office chairs are very comfortable. There’s easy access to an outlet to charge a mobile device at nearly every seat. There are two downsides to this sports book. First, cocktail service is slow to non-existent. Second, most of the seats are reserved for people placing wagers at The Venetian on busy days (Football, March Madness, etc.). The sports book is free 85% of the year so I make sure to schedule visits accordingly and have a great time when I visit.
The negatives here should knock this out of consideration for my favorite sports book. However, I find myself at The Venetian often because they have some of the best dining options on the Vegas Strip. Between restaurant row (see Yardbird Southern review) and the Grand Canal Shops (see Mercato della Pescheria review) there a just a lot of good places to eat at The Venetian. Why not watch some games before and after a nice meal?
I may prefer large sports books but this relatively small space stands out from traditional sports books. Last year the Cosmopolitan opened the new sports book on the first floor of the casino. This is more of a “Sports Section” of the casino that has a video poker bar, blackjack tables, traditional bar games (billiards, foosball, shuffleboard), a race and sports book, and cocktail and food service.
This isn’t just a part of the casino to sit and watch sports, although that’s the focal point, there’s so much more here than a normal sports book. This beautiful space is a dream sports bar for a lot of people. The combination of activities isn’t new to Las Vegas but it is new to the casino floor. Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo offered table games in addition to the bar and restaurant it’s become when it first opened.
Between the bar, cocktail tables, and sports book there are fewer than 100 seats. Like The Venetian, the seats usually require a minimum spend during busy days. Unlike The Venetian, you may not have to place wagers at the casino in order to reserve seats. If you’re interested, you should check with the casino since the money and days fluctuate.
If I started visiting Las Vegas in 2017, I would never visit this sports book again. However, I’ve spent so much time at this casino and in this sports book that I have great and fuzzy memories. I have a personal affection for this sports book.
The large sports book is in need of major upgrades to the seats and screens. Despite the disrepair, this sports book is always rockin’ for the big games. During a baseball season, there’s always room to pull up a chair and watch the games.
I love an underdog story and this sports book is a forgotten gem inside of a popular casino. Some day they’ll get around to cleaning up this sports book. Right? Anyone listening?
This is another sports book close to my home. I like to visit this sports book when I’m in the mood to go out to watch the games and not be bothered. The demographic is older than many casinos and everyone tends to keep to themselves.
The screens here are sufficient for a smaller sports book and there are usually seats available. Just about everything to eat and drink is fair to underpriced. I’ve spent a few days and nights just being lazy in this sports book drinking coffee, eating ice cream and, of course, drinking Dr. Brown’s soda.
There’s only so much time to visit different sports books. The sports books below are also great places to watch and wager on the games even though I don’t get a chance to visit them as often as the previously mentioned sports books.
Lagasse’s Stadium (The Palazzo)
The Cromwell (new)
Umami Burger, Sportsbook and Beer Garden