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Dan Ippolito

As Casino City's associate editor, Dan produces and edits all of our weekly newsletters, and he writes about the gaming industry for our websites and the GPWA Times Magazine. Dan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a degree in Communications and a concentration in Sports.

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Casino City’s Friday Five: Ad bans and best Las Vegas sportsbooks edition

1 Sep 2023

By Dan Ippolito
The NFL kicks off its season in less than a week, so it is the perfect time for Casino City’s Gary Trask to provide his top 10 favorite Las Vegas sportsbooks, and that is exactly what he did on Monday. Before we take a look at some places to sit back and watch your bets cash, we also have a restaurant opening at a Wisconsin casino, a new Louisiana property welcoming guests for the first time, The Venetian Las Vegas going through some changes, and Ontario prohibiting celebrities and athletes from being involved in gambling ads.

5. Rock & Brews restaurant coming to Potawatomi Carter Casino
Today, the Forrest County Potawatomi and Rock & Brews teams will extend their partnership with a full day of programming that will have Wisconsinites feeling the 'rock and roll all night,' beginning with the groundbreaking for their restaurant within Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will participate in the inaugural demolition of the 5,280 square foot restaurant. Later that evening, the duo will join their bandmates to perform at Crandon International Raceway as part of KISS' End of the Road Tour.

The first Rock & Brews Restaurant in Wisconsin opened on 1 August at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee. The 250-seat restaurant was an integral aspect of the property's extensive $190 million renovation.

4. The Queen Baton Rouge and DraftKings Sportsbook celebrates grand opening
The Queen Baton Rouge and DraftKings Sportsbook officially opened on 25 August, welcoming more than 1,000 guests who lined up outdoors to be the first to welcome the 100,000-square-foot casino to Louisiana.

The ribbon was officially cut by Lydia Chenevert, a 30-year employee of The Queen Baton Rouge, which, before that night, had been the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge, a historic riverboat casino. An $85 million redevelopment, The Queen Baton Rouge is the city’s first land-based casino.

3. Big things happening at The Venetian Las Vegas
In the most recent edition of This Week in Gambling, J. Todd speaks about The Venetian Las Vegas unveiling a newly refreshed sportsbook, but at the same time announces another change that is not sitting well with guests.

Last Thursday, the stunning casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip announced a multi-year naming rights partnership for the Yahoo Sportsbook. The venue spans more than 12,000 square feet and features a 46-million-pixel, 1,770 square foot LED video wall that can display up to 40 independent sporting events at once. There are an additional 30 TVs spread throughout the book.

Now the bad news. Guests used to expect complimentary parking on the Strip. Now; however, that’s a courtesy you won’t find at The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinno.

Under the new guidelines, The Venetian and Palazzo will charge $15 for up to four hours. That’s followed by an hourly charge of $18 for periods up to 24 hours from Monday through Thursday. On Fridays through Sundays, the rate will jump to $23 per day. Valet parking will remain priced at $35 per day, and is starting to sound like more of a bargain.

Some have speculated that the reason The Venetian is ending its free parking is due to opening of Sphere, which has rapidly become the biggest free show in the city. And, since Sphere is located behind The Venetian, everyone is flocking to the parking garage.

2. Top 10 favorite Las Vegas sportsbooks
If you offer Gary Trask comfortable seating, expansive TV screens showing multiple games and the ability to wager on those games, it will be pretty difficult for him to have a bad time.

With a new football season upon us, the timing is ideal to unveil his list of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas after dedicating hours upon hours of "research" during multiple trips to the desert.

Although the book – now known as BetMGM Sportsbook at Bellagio – might not match some others on this list in terms of screen clarity, its layout remains exceptional. The brown leather chairs evoke a dentist’s chair feeling, but leaning back and gazing at the 13 jumbo screens while being attended to by inviting cocktail servers, who tend to be generous with drink tickets if you tip well, at your service, provides an entirely different vibe than a routine teeth cleaning.

The venue spans 5,600 square feet, accommodating roughly 200 guests. It's an ideal choice if you seek individual seating with personal monitors, and aside from the expansive screens, the book boasts 38 flat TVs scattered throughout.

Wynn Race & Sportsbook
Thanks to the 137-foot-by-11-foot, 21 million-pixel LED video wall with a curve layout and an additional 35 TV monitors, and the brightest and easiest to read odds board in Las Vegas, there literally is not a bad seat in the house at Wynn Las Vegas.

The red leather, plush executive swivel chairs in this book are some of the most comfortable in Las Vegas. There is also a bar with 22 seats with individual USB ports and power outlets on the casino level and 40 elevated VIP seats, that offer private couches and individual TVs. Charlie’s Sports Bar, nestled right behind the sportsbook, offers more seating, a superb selection of food and drinks and a clear view of all the action.

Circa Resort & Casino
Following a recent expansion, the book now has a capacity of over 1,000 people spread across three stories. While the concept of the Overhang Bar is very cool (Stevens is a Detroit native and the bar is a tribute to the right-field grandstands in the old Tigers Stadium), the sightlines for the mammoth screen are diluted because you really can’t see the bottom.

But if you step into the Stadium Seating area among 350 other sports betting enthusiasts, the screen is literally on top of you and the atmosphere is unmatched.

While we’re gushing about Circa, we can't help but mention the awe-inspiring Stadium Swim, — an attraction in its own right with its immense screens, six pools, water couches, daybeds, cabanas, and even blackjack tables. It could arguably stand alone on this list if it were considered a sportsbook.

1. Ontario bans use of celebrities in online gambling ads
Forever, companies have been using celebrities in advertisements to catch the attention of their target audience. While companies are aiming to make money, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has a different priority - to protect minors from iGaming advertising and marketing strategies.

On Wednesday, the AGCO updated the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming to prohibit the use of athletes, celebrities, role models, social media influencers, entertainers, cartoon figures, and symbols in internet gaming advertising and marketing in the Canadian province. These amended standards will go into effect on 28 February 2024.

This came to light after the AGCO noticed that iGaming companies were using athletes, who appeal to minors, in advertising campaigns.

Active or retired athletes will only be able to be featured in advertisements that promote responsible gambling practices.
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