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Gary Trask

Gary  Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's Editor in Chief and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

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Top 10 favorite Las Vegas sportsbooks

28 Aug 2023

By Gary Trask
SuperBook at the Westgate

SuperBook at the Westgate

In my view, sportsbooks and pizza are a lot alike.

Think about it. Pizza comes in varying sizes and shapes, catering to a range of different price points and tastes. Everyone has their own opinion on favorite toppings and crusts, but when it comes right down to it, is there really such a thing as a “bad pizza?"

The same goes for sportsbooks. Offer me comfortable seating, expansive TV screens showing multiple games and the ability to wager on those games, and it’s pretty difficult for me to have a bad time.

So, with a new football season upon us, the timing is ideal to unveil my list of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas after dedicating hours upon hours of "research" during multiple trips to the desert. Let me clarify, my choices have nothing to do with betting options or limits. In fact, if you're planning to bet on sports in Las Vegas, I implore you to download multiple apps and conduct your betting via your phone. This ensures that you secure the best number and avoid wasting precious time standing in line at the sportsbook.

The books listed below, from my perspective, deliver the finest viewing experience and service in Las Vegas. Disagree? That’s fine. Just as some adore Hawaiian pizza, while others would never entertain the idea of putting fruit on their pie, there's no definitive right or wrong answer when it comes to sportsbook preferences.

Speaking of cuisine, since I love food and drink (almost) as much as I enjoy betting on sports, we have included an added bonus for each sportsbook with recommendations on how to enhance your day of degeneracy and debauchery with some high-quality nearby options to keep your stomach full and satisfied.

Hope to see you for kickoff at one of the below venues very soon!

10. Palms Casino Resort
What I love most about the William Hill-operated sportsbook at Palms is the spacious layout. Upon entering, it feels like you are walking into someone’s enormous living room, with ample choices of couches, comfortable seating and high-top tables. The book accommodates about 100 people and there’s also a circular bar in the back where you can grab some food and beverage and still have a clear view of the 36-foot-long-by-9-foot-high video wall.

When the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority introduced a revamped Palms in April of last year, becoming the first Native American-owned casino in Las Vegas, they put a premium on customer service and one of the many unique offerings at the resort is a free shuttle ride to Las Vegas Raider home games for Club Serrano players club members. So, even if you aren’t staying at Palms, as long as you have a players card, you can park there and catch a lift to Allegiant Stadium – a much more hassle-free alternative compared to driving yourself or opting for an Uber.

Hot F&B Tip: If you are planning to go the distance for a day of football betting in Las Vegas, you simply cannot do so on an empty stomach. A fine spot to kickoff the festivities is Soul Sundays at Laguna Pool House & Kitchen, located on the sixth floor of the Palms Place tower and easily accessible from the sportsbook.

Earlier this year, Chef Luke Palladino and his Meta Hospitality team took over the reimagined lavish, indoor-outdoor space that boasts 30-foot ceilings, an abundance of natural light and overlooks the Laguna Pool at Palms Place. Every Sunday, DJ Copay is in the house, spinning vinyl records featuring “old school, hip hop and funk.”

The vibe is casual and smooth and offers a unique menu of both food and specialty cocktails, delivered in cans painted by local artists. I highly recommend the Smoked Salmon Dutch Baby (light and fluffy Dutch baby crepe with SSU egg, smoked Alaskan salmon, cucumber, Boursin cheese, avocado, red onion, capers and salmon caviar) washed down with a delicious Long-Hot Summer (Aperol, lime, orgeat, Ruffino Prosecco Rose).

9. The STRAT
The STRAT Hotel, Casino and SkyPod, known for its epic 148-foot “needle,” located at the far north end of the Las Vegas Strip, underwent a $140 million upgrade within two years of being bought by Golden Entertainment in 2017. Part of those funds were spent on the sportsbook, which like the venue at Palms, is a William Hill-operated book and also has an intimate, but spread-out, living room-style ambiance.

Featuring an inviting floor plan, the sportsbook boasts a super-sharp, 110-foot high-resolution LED screen that stretches the length of the far wall. The impressive screen can be seen from every vantage point of the book, which offers an array of seating options with six private wraparound booths, circular tables with leather chairs and individual rows of comfy singular seats. The video wall, as well as 12 additional big-screen HDTVs, are also in clear view of the aptly named View Lounge, which overlooks the sportsbook and offers a rectangle bar with video poker machines and tables where you can order specialty cocktails – like a Cotton Candy Martini – flights of craft beer and a typical “game day” food menu.

Hot F&B Tip: While enjoying the action at The STRAT, don't miss the opportunity to take the elevator — which passes three floors per second at 21 m.p.h. — to the top and experience the breathtaking views from 108 Drinks. If timed right, make the most of the two-for-one cocktails during Happy Hour (Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

8. Bellagio
Around 20 years ago, I made my first visit to Las Vegas and wandered into the Bellagio sportsbook for an afternoon of college hoops.

Let’s just say it was a love at first sight.

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.

Hot F&B Tip: If you're a burger aficionado, indulge yourself at Snacks, the casual eatery adjacent to the book. Open 24 hours, it caters to both sportsbook patrons and poker players. The Double Cheeseburger is a simple, yet scrumptious choice that'll keep you satiated throughout multiple games.

7. The Cromwell
The Cromwell sportsbook is one of the tiniest on the Strip and definitely the smallest on our list. Nevertheless, the book offers an intimate experience, no surprise since the Caesars Entertainment property – the former home of Barbary Coast and Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and East Flamingo Road – prides itself on delivering a top-notch boutique casino experience.

Securing a seat is crucial here. Boasting 40 comfortable chairs and a small stand-up bar along the back, the book fits approximately 50 individuals. However, the screens are among the clearest in Sin City. Due to its cozy size, watching the action here makes you feel right at the heart of the action.

The 32-foot-long-by-9-foot-high video wall and 9-by-5-foot LED odds ticker is visible throughout a good portion of the casino floor, and when it opened in 2017, it was the Strip's first and only screen with 1.8-millimeter pixelation. During a college football Saturday afternoon last fall, I watched 11 different games on the screen simultaneously – a testament to the book's efficient setup.

Hot Tip: Situated just behind the book is Bound, an upscale cocktail lounge. In case the sportsbook reaches capacity (which is common due to limited seating), perch yourself on a chair along Bound's railing for a clear view of the video wall. While you're at it, treat yourself to an espresso martini – one of the best on the Strip.

6. South Point Hotel Casino and Spa
When it comes to the top 10 best sportsbooks in Las Vegas, the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa is an automatic inclusion. The driving force behind this “old school” book is the unparalleled dynamic duo of Jimmy Vaccaro and Chris Andrews.

Any sportsbook that is run by two legends of the industry boasting over seven decades of experience is going to find a spot on this top 10. And that’s just one of the reasons why the South Point sportsbook is worth venturing off the Strip, about seven miles south of Mandalay Bay, for a day of football.

What sets South Point apart is its separation of the sportsbook and the racebook, ensuring your view of the big screens isn't obstructed by horse races or greyhounds kicking up dust. Independently operated and owned by the esteemed Gaughan family, South Point's sportsbook maintains a classic appeal. Open 24 hours, it exudes a timeless atmosphere, even though the screens might not be the sleekest in town.

Expect to mingle with locals here, making people-watching a treat. The ticket writers are more generous with free drink vouchers compared to their counterparts on the Strip. And if you're lucky enough to spot Vaccaro, a non-brainer inductee into the inaugural Sports Betting Hall of Fame earlier this month, wandering around, seize the chance to introduce yourself. There’s not a more friendly, knowledgeable, or quick-witted person in the sportsbook industry. A true legend with a million entertaining stories.

Hot Tip: For a quick snack in between plays, don’t miss the $1.50 hot dog cart, located adjacent to the book and serving Vienna All-Beef dogs with all of the necessary toppings, still one of the best values in all of Las Vegas.

5. Caesars Palace
Caesars Palace is commonly referred to as the most recognizable property on the Las Vegas Strip and has been the scene of some iconic Sin City moments (think Evel Knievel, Muhammad Ali) and movies (The Hangover, Rain Man, Ocean’s 11), so you really don’t need an excuse to hit this massive resort that sits smack dab in the middle of the Strip.

But the sportsbook is as good a reason as any.

The custom built, 143-foot HD LED screen at the Caesars book snakes along the entire back wall behind 13 betting counters and is amplified by an amazing sound system with what’s called “4-Zone Directional Sound.”

To secure prime seating for your group, especially on an NFL Sunday, it's wise to make reservations in advance. You can indulge in the VIP Fan Cave experience, which accommodates up to 10 guests and offers an "all-you-care-to-drink" package for $5,000. Alternatively, opt for the $80 Bleacher Package, which not only secures you a seat but also includes two free drink tickets.

Hot F&B Tip: If you want to escape the madness of the Caesars sportsbook on game day, take a stroll down the hall to the classy Montecristo Cigar & Whiskey Bar. There’s an amazing selection of spirits and cocktails (Try Rolling Smoke: Maker’s Mark 46 Bourbon, Laphroaig Islay Scotch whisky, coffee bean-infused Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth and vanilla) and over 1,000 cigars to choose from. You can even bring in your own smoke and light it up for a $10 fee. Bonus: Thanks to a state-of-the-art ventilation system, you won’t leave smelling like your ashtray.

4. The Venetian Las Vegas

When the topic of “Best Sportsbooks in Las Vegas” comes up, it’s very rare for The Venetian to be mentioned, but this book has always been one of my favorites, and last week the resort unveiled a fresh look and new sponsor, just in time for kickoff of the 2023 season.

Operated by William Hill, the revitalized Yahoo Sportsbook is a 12,000 square-foot venue that seats just over 100 people and features a staggering 46-million-pixel, 1,770-square-foot LED video wall that can display up to 40 games once. Luxury seating comes in the form of an array of plush sofas and comfy lounge chairs and there’s also a new circle bar with video poker machines and an additional 30 TVs spread throughout the book.

I’m looking forward to checking out the new Yahoo Fan Caves that provide private experiences with two 98-inch screens and personal F&B servers.

Hot F&B Tip: If you are strapping in for a full day of games, I always recommend taking a break and getting some fresh air and for guests of The Venetian sportsbook a prime spot for just that is the Davidoff of Geneva Cigar Bar, on the other side of the Strip (yes, you guessed, I like to have a cigar now and then).

With indoor and outdoor seating, seven big-screen TVs, and a “Social Hour” every Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (50% off select wines, specialty drinks, spirits and beers and two free glasses of champagne for ladies) Davidoff is most definitely worth the less-than-10-minute walk, made easy by the pedestrian bridge right outside The Venetian. Davidoff is also one of the best “people watching” spots in Las Vegas.

3. Wynn Race & Sports Book
You can expect nothing but the finest at Wynn Las Vegas, and its sportsbook is no exception. A comprehensive renovation in 2017 elevated this elegant space to new heights.

Thanks to an amazing 137-foot-by-11-foot, 21 million-pixel LED video wall with a sweeping 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.

Speaking of seats, 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.

While my advice is to definitely put this book on your hit list, if you are planning to be there for an NFL Sunday, either arrive very early or make a reservation. This place fills up fast.

Hot F&B Tip: The Wynn is full of world-class cocktail bars and restaurants, but if you’re looking to gather your thoughts after a bad beat, an ideal place to “reset” is the outdoor patio at Aft Cocktail Deck, a yacht-themed terrace that provides a perfect view of the three-acre Lake of Dreams. Every half-hour you are treated to a stunning light show, framed by a 90-foot performance waterfall and 1,500 pine trees. It soothes the soul and will help get your head back into the game.

2. Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
Oh, man, what can I say about the SuperBook at the Westgate?

It’s been my sportsbook of choice for many years and definitely the one book where I have spent the most hours. I absolutely love arriving here about one hour before kickoff on an NFL Sunday, grabbing a center seat at the long bar at the back, ordering a Bloody Mary and settling in for a full day of football. This was also the site of one of my very best days in Las Vegas back when I witnessed first-hand the absolute madness of Day 1 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Formerly the Hilton Las Vegas, when Westgate bought the property and changed its name in July 2014, the new owners sprang into action and spent $100 million on renovations, including the SuperBook, which is simply jaw-dropping the first time you walk into the gigantic 30,000 square-foot Mecca that comfortably seats 350 fans. The massive video wall spreads 220 feet across the front wall of the sportsbook and stands 18 feet high with 63.2 million pixels, which, I’m told, means they are five times as clear at AT&T Stadium, aka “Jerry’s World” and the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The wall has 4K capability and is made up of seven different screens.

The smoke-free SuperBook, home to the world-famous NFL SuperContest, is run by Jay Kornegay, another legend in the industry, and his staff certainly knows how to cater to sports bettors as they are the best in the business at feeling the pulse of the crowd and deciding which games should be featured and have the sound playing. You won’t get stuck listening to or seeing many commercials and when a game ends, there is no dead time in between switching to the next event.

In addition to my preferred option of plopping down at the bar, SuperBook also has big leather chairs at the front of the book and spacious VIP sections, each with a 32-inch, personal LCD screen, desk space, wait service.

Hot F&B Tip: Once again, if you drinking and betting on games all day with an empty stomach, you’re doing it all wrong. So, on your way to the SuperBook hit up the inimitable Peppermill Restaurant and Fireside Lounge, located about a half-mile away on Las Vegas Boulevard South.

The Peppermill is the location of one of the many testy meetings between Ginger and Ace in the smash-hit movie, Casino, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. It’s a true throw-back with its neon decor and large breakfast portions. The Munch’s Breakfast (sautéed peppers, onions, Linguica sausage, mushrooms and tomatoes mixed into hash browns, topped with three eggs with cheddar and jack cheeses) is a fine choice and considered a great hangover cure (not that anyone would need that on a Sunday morning in Las Vegas).

1. Circa Resort & Casino
While it’s easy to see that the Westgate SuperBook holds a fond place in my heart and has always been a personal favorite, during the pandemic we started to hear details about Circa Las Vegas, a new mega-resort being created by Derek Stevens.

The hype surrounding the ultra-modern, 1.25-million-square-foot, $1 billion casino resort that promised to revolutionize Downtown Las Vegas was off the charts. When Stevens spit in the face of COVID and held the grand opening of the first ground-up destination in DTLV in 40 years in October of 2020, the rave reviews were plentiful, especially for the sportsbook, promoted as the “biggest sportsbook in the world” with the “biggest screen in sportsbook history,” at 78 million high-def pixels.

Surely, I said to myself, this can’t be as good as promised, could it?

I was wrong. The Circa Sportsbook is an absolute masterpiece. 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. An all-inclusive food and beverage package in one of the recliners in the Legends Club section for an NFL Sunday requires reservations and is $200 a head. You can also book a booth and table for six ($750) or reserve a seat in the Stadium South section for $125, but that doesn’t come with drinks or food.

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.

Over the course of the last three years, the folks at Circa Sportsbook have raised the bar of the sports betting experience and set the new gold standard. They’ll take the biggest bets, they’ve turned their NFL Survivor Pool in the best in the business and they’ve made their book an absolute “must-see” for anyone coming to Vegas, and that includes those who have zero interest in betting on sports.

Hot F&B Tip: Putting in a full day of betting football at the sportsbook can be draining, both mentally and physically (and hopefully not for the bankroll!).

There’s no better spot to kick back and relax and take your mind off football than Circa’s upscale Legacy Club. Perched on the 60th floor, this sanctuary offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city, alongside fire pits and inviting couches. If you do decide to make it up to Legacy Club, keep in mind there is a dress code of “elegant casual” so be sure to freshen up before making your way to those elevators.
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