Historically, there is more money wagered on football in Nevada than all other sports combined. While the Nevada Gaming Control Board doesn’t break out pro versus college, anecdotally the NFL sees about 60% of the football wagers while college sees 40% of the wagers. Seems like a perfect time of year to talk about watching football In Las Vegas.
While the amount of money wagered on football in Nevada is huge. According to UNLV Gaming, casinos only won 5.6% from football last year. The win is enough for many casino operators throughout the state. However, some casino operators are always looking to increase revenue.
As always, Las Vegas has something for everyone – you just might have to travel to find what you’re looking for.
The tactic of generating extra revenue from a Las Vegas Sports Book is also different. Some casino operators will save their best seats for people willing to pay to reserve a seat. Other casino operators will throw a big free party and hope guests spend money on food and beverage.
Sports books are no longer the only place to watch football on Saturday and Sunday in Las Vegas. Plenty of bars and restaurants also show the games. This is Las Vegas so there might be a minimum required spend to reserve seats to watch football at a bar-restaurant.
We’ll look at how you can watch football for free in Las Vegas, where you can pay to reserve a seat and other options in between. As always, Las Vegas has something for everyone – you just might have to travel to find what you’re looking for.
Watching Football In Las Vegas
Free General Admission
Believe it or not, football season isn’t the busiest time for sports books. The first four days March Madness takes that honor. Since the pro and college football seasons last longer than a long weekend, there isn’t the same demand for every seat in a casino sports book. That said, between betting and fantasy, demand is still huge for football in Las Vegas.
There are plenty of casinos that offer free general admission seats for football games. Some of the casinos offer both general admission and reserved seating. You can find prices on their respective websites or by calling.
General admission seats are first come first served. You might have to be at the sports book two hours before the 10 am kickoff to secure a seat. Here are the Las Vegas sports books where you can find free general admission seats for football.
The Options – Free General Admission
- Boyd Gaming: Aliante, Cannery, The California, Eastside Cannery, Gold Coast, Fremont, The Orleans, Sam’s Town, Suncoast
- Caesars Entertainment: Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s (general admission and reserved), Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The Linq (general admission and reserved), Rio All-Suite Hotel
- MGM Resorts: Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay (general admission and reserved), The Mirage (general admission and reserved), MGM Grand, New York-New York, Park MGM
- Station Casinos: Boulder Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Red Rock, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station
- Other Downtown: Binion’s, Downtown Grand, Four Queens, Golden Nugget, Plaza
- Other Vegas Strip – Casino Royale, Encore, The Strat (general admission and reserved), Wynn (general admission and reserved)
- Other Off-Strip: Arizona Charlies, Hard Rock, M Resort, Silver Sevens, South Point, Tuscany, Rampart, Westgate (general admission, free party and reserved)
Paid Reserved Sports Book Seating
A few casinos on in Las Vegas offer reserved seats in their sports book or attached sports bar/lounge. These seats can be reserved regardless of where you place wagers.
- Caesars Palace Las Vegas (all seats)
- The Cosmopolitan
- The Cromwell (all seats)
- Harrah’s Las Vegas (general admission and reserved)
- The Linq (general admission and reserved)
- Mandalay Bay (reserved at bar)
- The Mirage (general admission and reserved)
- MGM Grand (Skybox)
- The Palazzo – Lagasse Stadium – (food and beverage minimum)
- Sahara – Umami Burger – (sometimes food and beverage minimum)
- Westgate (general admission, free party and reserved)
CG Technology sports books often reserve seats for big bettors. Their sports books are located at Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, Palms, Silverton, and The Venetian. While Station Casinos owns the Palms Casino Resort, they do not operate the sports book.
NFL Watch Parties
The Westgate sports book is so popular that they open the International Theater for NFL games. Seats are free but first come first served. They have a betting station and drink specials for anyone that decides to watch away from the sports book.
The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center across the street from The D Las Vegas has the Downtown Watch Zone for NFL games. This is an outdoors event which can be a little warm or chilly depending on the date. They offer general admission and reserved seating.
There is food and beverage on site. Since the party is outside of the casino, you’ll have to place wagers inside The D or sign up for a mobile account to bet from a phone.
Vegas Strip Sports Bars
Sports bars are a great option if you want to stay on the Vegas Strip but don’t want to deal with the hustle of waking up early to get a seat in the sports book. Most sports bars on the Vegas Strip require reservations during football season because it’s usually quite busy.
Sometimes sports bar reservations will require a minimum spend on food and beverage. It’s my experience that the minimum is usually for about the amount of money that you’ll end up spending while sitting at a bar-restaurant for four hours.
Here are a few sports bars to watch football on the Vegas Strip:
- Blondies and PBR Rock Bar – Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile Shops
- Twin Peaks and Buffalo Wild Wings – Harmon Corner (next to Planet Hollywood)
- The Still – The Mirage
- Tap – MGM Grand
- Tilted Kilt – The Linq
- Umami Burger – Sahara
Lastly, if you’re venturing away from the Vegas Strip, you might want to check out Bourbon Street (photo above). It’s a chain of sports bars that have a viewing experience similar to a sports book. There are numerous locations all over town.