Compiled by LVA Research
• July 30, 2016 14:46 Sands Announces Macau Casino Opening: Las Vegas Sands Corp. has announced that it’s $2.9 billion resort, The Parisian, will open on September 13. Adding the 3,000-room resort will give Sands 13,000 rooms over four interconnected resorts on Macau’s Cotai Strip.
• July 30, 2016 14:30 Hockey-Name Survey Gets R-J Ink: The results of our hockey-name survey appeared in Doug Elfman's "Vegasland" column in today's LV Review-Journal. If you missed it, the Las Vegas Aces took top honors, followed by the High Rollers and the Rat Pack. Among our favorites of those that received at least one vote were the Stickmen, the 86ers, the Sharps, the Puckers, the Tokers, the Moneyliners, and the Teasers. Check out all the results in the poll archives.
• July 30, 2016 09:58 Hazy Vegas: Smoke from a California wildfire has created a heavy haze over Las Vegas, making it difficult to make out the buildings on the Strip and putting a damper on pool-goers this weekend. The situation isn't considered to be a health hazard, as most of the smoke is in the upper levels of the atmosphere. The haze isn't expected to begin to dissipate until late Sunday.
• July 29, 2016 15:39 Chivalry Returns to Sunset Park: The annual Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival returns to its long-time home at Sunset Park this Oct., with advance admission $13 for adults ($15 on the day). The huge-scale extravaganza includes myriad vendors and food-and-drink stands, artisanal wares for sale, and live entertainment, ranging from wandering minstrels to full-contact jousting (we're not so sure about the live demonstrations of medieval surgery, but as long as they're not looking for audience volunteers we guess it's okay...) It's a fun family-friendly event, with lots to see and do, so we recommend swinging by if you're around.
• July 29, 2016 11:15 iHeart Tix On-Sale Saturday: Tickets for the 2016 iHeart Music Festival, coming to T-Mobile Arena this September 23 and 24, and featuring headliners includingh U2, Usher, Drake, Sia, Twenty One Pilots, Sam Hunt, Billy Idol, OneRepublic, Sting, Britney Spears, Pitbull, Ariana Grande, Florida Georgia Line, Zedd, Cage the Elephant, and many others will go on sale at 10 a.m. PST Saturday, July 30 and start at $150. Tix for this annual music fest sell out notoriously quickly, so if you snooze, you'll likely lose.
• July 29, 2016 10:08 Stadium Location Shortlist: Backers of the hypothetical Las Vegas sports stadium, that may become home to the Oakland Raiders, have narrowed down the potential sites for the project to a shortlist of eight locations -- five primary, with three other possibles in the mix (including the Wynn golf course, which we thought Steve was planning to convert into a lake??). With its financing structure/sources still very much up in the air, and the approval of other NFL team owners for the relocation still be secured, there's a long way to go before this plan becomes a reality.
• July 29, 2016 10:03 Klondike Sunset Makes a Comeback: Henderson's Klondike Sunset casino (not to be confused with the former south-Strip Klondike), which closed in mid-2014, is set to reopen for business Wednesday, having been approved for a slots-only gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Commission, whose Chairman praised slot-route operator and property owner Bruce Familian for the substantive renovations and upgrades he's affected at the long-ailing property in the half year since he purchased the property.
• July 28, 2016 15:23 Las Vegas This Weekend: Here are the upcoming entertainment highlights, for your general delight and delectation:
- Smith Center welcomes Hawaiian music group HAPA (7/29-30); comedy from Bobby Jones & The Raging Idiots (7/30); and Brian McNight (7/31)
- Golden Nugget features Jefferson Starship in its ongoing throwback music series (7/29)
- Cowboy Mouth's center stage at Brooklyn Bowl (7/29), followed by The Claypool Lennon Delirium (7/31)
- Reba, Brooks & Dunn are back at Caesars' Colosseum (7/29-30)
- Mandalay Bay brings Duran Duran to the Events Center (7/29), followed by Rob Zombie & Korn (7/30). Meanwhile, UB40 will take over Mandalay Bay Beach (7/30)
- Hard Rock's got New Edition with special guest Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds in The Joint (7/29), followed by Chris Issac on (7/30). Allen Stone will perform at Vinyl (7/30), followed by the 5QUAD TLG 2016 Tour (7/31)
- Blood Sweat & Tears play Silverton (7/30)
- Snake Oil: The Ultimate Arena Rock Experience takes place at the Cannery (7/30)
- Sunset Station welcomes Sommore (7/30-31)
- Trace Adkins is at the Orleans (7/30-31)
- Earl Klugh is center stage at Aliante (7/30)
- And Gladys Knight's in the spotlight at The Star of The Desert Arena at Primm Valley
• July 28, 2016 14:48 Interesting Piece on the 'Experience' of Gambling: In the latest edition of Global Gaming Business Magazine, industry veteran and publisher Roger Gros has an interesting op-ed on the psychology of gambling and of the casino 'experience' that contains food for thought for anyone in search of the next Holy Grail of the gaming floor.
• July 28, 2016 14:12 CG Technology Dodges Another Bullet: Reports indicate that Nevada gaming regulators look set to approve a $1.5 million settlement with sports book operator CG Technologies, which has acknowledged a computer glitch that resulted in many players being underpaid on winning bets, to the tune of some $700,000 in total (see previous coverage from FrankB at GamblingWithAnEdge.com). The ruling by the Nevada Gaming Commission comes in the wake of a previous 2014 scandal that threatened to strip the company of its Nevada gaming license and resulted in the largest penalty fine on record in state history, at $5.5 million, when it transpired that a Cantor Gaming sports book director was involved in a nationwide illegal sports betting ring that his employers had failed to notice. According to the terms of the latest settlement, the company will set up an escrow account to pay out any remaining gamblers who were shorted in the latest incident, and must open its systems to independent compliance reviews.
• July 28, 2016 12:01 Veteran Casino Hosts 85th Celebrations: The historical Railroad Pass casino is turning 85 and, in addition to the property enhancements already announced, there's a weekend-long celebration beginning Saturday, with food and drink specials and giveaways -- including Tootsie Pops, which were first released in 1931, the year the casino opened. The festivities continue into Monday, when cake and champagne will be served starting at 10 a.m., followed at 4 p.m. by a historical presentation by new owner Joe DeSimone.
• July 28, 2016 09:49 Forbes on the $600 Million eSports Biz: The latest feature by Forbes contributor Darren Heitner, who covers "the intersection of sports and money" (and what an interesting and rich intersection that is...), delves into the multi-million dollar business of betting on eSports, which analysts predict will reach the level of $1.5 billion within a year from now and which Nevada gaming regulators have stated they're on the cusp of allowing to be added to the growing roster of activities on which sports books will be able to accept wagers. An interesting read.
• July 27, 2016 16:21 New Movie Night Downtown: Tonight sees the inaugural movie night at Union House (917 S. 1st Street) in downtown's Arts District, with a free screening of Pollock at 7:30 p.m., plus food and drink, a scavenger hunt, live painting, and more!
• July 27, 2016 14:14 FanDuel Confirms UK Launch: DFS operator FanDuel announced Wednesday a partnership deal with sports-data provider Opta to provide live performance statistics for the company's new fantasy football platform, which will be launched for web and mobile platforms in early August and will be tailored specifically for the UK market, with a focus on the Premier League. Further European expansion is expected in due course.
For the latest news from the volatile world of daily fantasy, plus tips and strategy for players, check out the DFS Report thread by Bill Ordine at GamblingWithAnEdge.com.
• July 27, 2016 13:33 Norm! Calls It Quits: The veteran R-J gossip columnist, who's been spilling the beans on Sin City's laundry, dirty and otherwise, for close to two decades, has revealed that he is stepping down, citing health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family. He joins a league of writers and other staff who have exited the paper since its takeover by Sheldon Adelson, although Norm Clarke made no reference to the new regime in his announcement, nor to recent news of rival Robin Leach joining the R-J staff.
• July 27, 2016 12:33 Cracker Barrel Opens: Lines were reportedly 70-people deep for the opening of Las Vegas' first Cracker Barrel this week at the Silverton. The southern-style comfort food restaurant has a huge following at its 650 outlets in 43 states. There’s also an attached county store that’s part of the experience. A second Cracker Barrel on the east side of town is scheduled to open in August.
• July 26, 2016 19:15 Vegas-Visitation Reader Poll: We couldn't face breaking the news earlier of yet another Strip resort-fee hike today, but yup, it happened, or it will come Aug. 9. That's when MGM Resorts International will implement a $1-$2 hike at its Las Vegas properties, with pink-tented stepchild Circus Circus remaining the "bargain play" on the block, at what will be $21/night, while "second-tier" properties, like MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, will join the ranks of Aria, Bellagio, and Mandarin Oriental (not to mention rivals including Caesars Palace, NOBU, and even Planet Hollywood!) by mandating a $32/night charge (plus tax).
And on the subject of fees and other nasties, here's a quick reminder that the current LVA Reader Poll, which concerns your Vegas-visitation habits and why they've changed, if they've changed, closes at midnight, so get voting if you haven't already!
• July 26, 2016 15:11 Cool Off at Ellis Island with $1 Beers: When temperatures hit triple digits this summer, beer prices in Ellis Island's Karaoke Lounge drop to just $1, from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays. No strings, just cheap cold beer.
• July 26, 2016 12:51 Fine Art Comes to the Western: It's been a notorious grind joint and an indoor drone-racing course; now downtown's storied Western casino is about to enjoy yet another (unlikely) incarnation, as the first fine-art gallery to be incorporated into the Life is Beautiful music-and-lifestyle festival. Currently, the only "artwork" present at the long-shuttered property comprises some security notices and a large graffiti-esque mural painted on one side of the building in dripping-blood style, that optimistically reads "Viva Lost Vegas!"; for three days this Sept. 23-25, however, the building will showcase "Crime on Canvas," a dark and spooky exhibition from Palm Springs' M Modern Gallery that features diverse works for sale by 80+ edgy contemporary artists, including: Josh Agle, a.k.a. SHAG; Brandon Boyd (of Incubus); Shepard Fairey; Frances Bean Cobain; Colin Christian; and many others, including several home-grown contributors. Nice!
• July 26, 2016 12:08 Palms' Pool Party Taco Challenge: If you're going to host a messy eating contest, poolside sounds like a good place to do it, and that's exactly what Palms' Ditch Friday will be doing July 29, when it hosts the "Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce & Chronic Taco Challenge." It's the first time the event, which will feature World Record holder Kobayashi and other well-known regulars on the competitive-eating circuit, has taken place in Las Vegas; Sign up here for guest list and the amateur taco-eating challenge.
• July 26, 2016 10:26 Dancer on Dancing, Poker, and Going on Tilt at GWAE: Ahead of this week's Gambling With An Edge podcast episode, featuring guest Mike Sexton of WPT fame (see previous Today's News item for how/where to submit a question to the show), Bob Dancer checked out Sexton's new book, Life's a Gamble, and found within its many stories and anecdotes some invaluable advice from another legendary poker player, Chip Reese, that would be well-heeded by any gambler.
By chance, today's Question of the Day continues our mini-bio series of some past winners of the WSOP main event, drawing comparisons with lottery-jackpot winners who've crashed and burned, and complements Sexton and Reese's observations about the late, great, but troubled Stu Ungar, and the perils of going "on tilt."
• July 25, 2016 20:34 Mike Sexton of WPT Guests on GWAE: This week's guest on the GamblingWithAnEdge podcast is poker pro and WPT co-host Mike Sexton, who has a new book out. Got a poker-related question you'd like to ask Mike? Shoot Bob Dancer and Richard Munchkin a note via the comments section on this week's podcast-preview post and they'll pose as many of the best queries received as time permits.
• July 25, 2016 15:54 Michigan Lottery Virgins, Listen Up!: Following a recent $1 million win by a woman from Onsted who was playing the multi-state Powerball game online, the Michigan Lottery is offering a bonus to new sign-ups: Commencing at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26, check out the official MichiganLottery.com website for a promo code good for $5 in free play to new online players.
In other Powerball news, after no winning ticket was sold for Saturday's drawing -- the 22nd consecutive without a winner -- the current jackpot has now climbed to approximately $422 million (with a lump-sum cash payout of almost $300 million).
• July 25, 2016 15:43 Queen of Comps Still Has Frugal Touch: Having just been treated to a lunch comp at the Palms' coffee shop, we can confirm that Jean Scott still has it: With $25 still remaining on a $70 comp at the end of the meal, some judicious pastry purchases, augmented by a few cans of V8, were made on the way out. The final tab: $69.80 (and the carrier bag provided was probably worth the other 20 cents). Catch regular money-saving tips, video poker advice, and a monthly round-up of the best casino promotions from The Queen of Comps at Frugal Vegas (and look out for a brand new "Frugal" title, due to be hitting a bookstore shelf near you very soon).
• July 25, 2016 13:37 Beware of Sharks at New Underwater Casino: Many Las Vegas casinos like to brandish their eco-friendly credentials, but on July 25 Florida's coastline gained a new attraction that's likely the most environmentally friendly gambling hall ever, with the launch/sinking of the "Lady Luck" sub-aqua attraction. Constructed inside a decommissioned New York City sludge tanker that was towed to Pompano Beach, the new diving experience features a whimsical casino scene created by two artists and featuring card sharks of the finned variety, a human-sized mermaid, an octopus dealer, slot machines, giant playing cards and dice, all fabricated using materials approved for use on an artificial reef, which is the Lady Luck's dual purpose, along with being a quirky new tourist attraction.
• July 24, 2016 13:34 100X Odds Verified: We've verified that the Cromwell is dealing 100X odds on craps. All tables in operation were dealing it when we visited and the minimum bet is $10 and the maximum payout is $5,000.
• July 24, 2016 10:39 Silver Saddle Closes: The Silver Saddle Saloon, located on E. Fremont has closed. It was a dingy place in a bad part of town, but was one of the last bars to deal live blackjack when it operated two tables off and on in the '80s.
• July 24, 2016 09:39 New Motel 6 Planned: A new Motel 6 is planned just north of Las Vegas. The 87-room hotel will be located off I-15 in the vicinity of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is expected draw business from NASCAR visitors who want to stay close to the raceway.
• July 23, 2016 17:43 UFC Holm/Shevchenko: Holly Holm is a -160 favorite over Valentina Schevchenko in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Edson Barboza is -250 over Gilbert Melendez.
• July 23, 2016 17:39 Downtown Concerts Tonight: Downtown's "Rock of Vegas" summer concert series at the Fremont Street Experience continues tonight with Robbie Krieger of the Doors. The free concert begins at 9 p.m. on the 1st Street Stage. One block away, the D hosts a night of hip hop, featuring the Sugar Hill Gang, Naughty by Nature, and Public Enemy. The concert takes place in the outdoor events center with tickets starting at $28.
• July 23, 2016 13:05 Almost Half Play the Lottery: In a recent Gallup survey, 49% of Americans said they've bought a lottery ticket in the past year. While that's a lot of people playing this negative-expectation game, it's significantly down from the survey's high of 57% logged in 1996 and 1999. Interestingly, the survey also indicated that lower-income respondents were less likely than those with middle and upper incomes to have played, a result that somewhat goes against the conventional wisdom that the lottery is more seductive to lower-income and less-educated groups.
• July 23, 2016 09:57 McCarran Moves Up: With 45.4 million passengers in 2015, McCarran International jumped one spot to become the eighth busiest airport in the U.S., passing Charlotte, North Carolina. Atlanta remained the busiest in the U.S. (and the world) with 101.4 million passengers.
• July 22, 2016 16:13 Free Google Gas (and Burgers, and Coffee): This Friday and Saturday, Google is Google Maps app with giveways along the I-15 L.A.-to-Vegas corridor, including free fueling (up to 10 gallons of gas) until 8 p.m. tonight and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Shell gas station at Cima Road in Nipton, CA. Throughout the duration of the promo, there will also be free hamburgers at Peggy Sue's Diner in Yermo, CA (Exit 191_ and complimentary iced coffees from a pop-up coffee shop in Baker (look for the igloo...)
• July 22, 2016 16:07 Reprieve for Takayama at Aria: Back late April it was announced that both barMasa and the newer Tetsu Teppan Grill at Aria would be closing July 31 and Chef Masa would be leaving to open TETSU in Tribeca; however, the latest official announcement says the two eateries will now remain open until October 31. Plans for the respective spaces thereafter have yet to be announced.
• July 22, 2016 15:58 Block 16 Images: The picture links in today's Question of the Day about downtown Las Vegas' historic red light district, which weren't working earlier, are now fully restored, so feel free to click away.
• July 22, 2016 14:29 Megajackpot at McCarran: A tourist from Ohio lucked out Thursday when he hit a jackpot just shy of a cool half-million dollars playing Wheel of Fortune at the airport Thursday. While the conventional wisdom holds that the airport is not an optimal venue at which to gamble, that's not to say that others haven't gotten lucky in the past, including one fortunate fellow who hit a $3.9 million progressive off a $20 investment, back in 2005.
• July 21, 2016 17:02 Las Vegas This Weekend: It's rockin'!:
- Bare Naked Ladies (and friends) are center stage at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (7/22), where you can also catch The Art of Rap old-school showcase (7/23)
- Robby Krieger of The Doors is in the spotlight on Fremont Street (7/23)
- The Smith Center welcomes The Ronnie Foster Trio performing The Reboot Project Live (7/24)
- The Golden Nugget presents BJ Thomas (7/22)
- Shaquille O'Neal's All Star Comedy Jam takes over at the Rio (7/21-22)
- Mandalay Bay presents the Neighborhood Awards Freedom Friday Concert and 2016 State Farm Neighborhood Awards Show (7/22-23), and Kip Moore is center stage at Mandalay Bay Beach (7/22)
- Reba, Brooks & Dunn return to Caesars Palace (7/22-23)
- MGM Grand welcomes Soul Asylum to the Top Golf Showroom (7/22), while Crawford vs Postal takes over the Garden Arena (7/23)
- Blink-182 plays The Joint at Hard Rock (7/23-24), while DigiTour Summer does Vinyl (7/23)
- UNLV-Cox Pavilion welcomes Dead Prez & Rebel Diaz (7/23)
- Paul Williams performs at South Point (7/22-23)
- The Cannery features '70s Soul Jam (7/23)
- Texas Station hosts Amanda Miguel and Diego Verdaguer (7/23)
- And Gary Allen's center stage at Primm Valleys Star of The Desert Arena (7/23)
• July 21, 2016 14:17 And Another One Bites the Dust: As rumored, it's been confirmed that yet another Strip production show is to close, with word that flagging ticket sales mean July 31 is the final day at Tropicana for Raiding the Rock Vault, with its "house band" of veteran rockers from various well-known '70s and '80s acts, plus notable guesting giants of rock. It leaves the entertainment scene at the Trop looking pretty spartan until previews for the new burlesque revue, Cherry Boom Boom commence Sept. 8 when tickets start at the discounted GA rate of $40 (plus tax/fees, thru Sept. 28).
• July 21, 2016 11:45 Heads Roll in the Sports Betting World: As professional sports bettor FrankB posted last night at GamblingWithAnEdge.com, the CEO of leading sports betting and mobile-gaming company, CG Technology, has stepped down, in the wake of a $1.5 million fine from the Nevada Gaming Control Board for the company's negligent handling of a computer glitch and its consequences, which included parlay bettors in Nevada being underpaid a total of $700,000 over a four-year. (And there's more to come on the CG Technology front, so stay tuned for future posts by FrankB -- himself a victim of a different issue -- at GWAE.)
Meanwhile, the head of UK-based bookmaking giant William Hill has has been summarily evicted after two years in the job, following a poor performance in the rapidly growing sector of online betting and the launch of poorly performing new Web platform and mobile-betting app. Apparently, an international search is now on for a replacement, a process that's expected to take up to year while a candidate "with a digital and/or international skill set" is found.
• July 20, 2016 15:15 Hard Rock Turns 21 on 7/21: It's ironic that one of the most notorious joints in Las Vegas is itself only just about to reach maturity, but when the Hard Rock Casino turns 21 tomorrow, you know it's going to go hard, with drink specials and dining discounts, free entry to Rehab to anyone celebrating their b'day July 21-24, 21% off room rates and select spa specials, casino promotions and giveaways, and more -- full details here.
• July 20, 2016 12:21 Indian Gaming Revenues Jump: The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has released the numbers for revenues generated by Indian gaming in 2015 and the total of $29.9 billion dollars represents a 5% jump on the previous years -- the most significant increase in a decade.
• July 20, 2016 09:54 New Lease on Life for Historic Casino: The Railroad Pass Casino — whose claim to fame is being the oldest-operating casino in Nevada — is getting a new lease on life on the eve of its 85th birthday, having this week received approval from Henderson City Council to add a 10-acre travel center and truck stop to the hotel-casino. The re-zoning ordinance will also see the addition of a fueling station with direct access from the U.S. 95 freeway. Owner Joe DeSimone, who purchased the property from MGM Resorts in the fall of 2014, is hoping to have all the work completed by early spring 2017.
• July 20, 2016 09:39 Hollywood Reporter Pays Tribute to Iconic Vegas Hotel: In honor of Caesars Palace's 50th birthday, a milestone that is being celebrated all- summer long, the July 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter pays tribute with a retrospective featuring memories and impressions of the iconic Strip property from ten Las Vegas insiders, including publisher Anthony Curtis, plus some great photographs of celebrities who've performed at Caesars over the years.
• July 19, 2016 14:51 Dancer and DFS - a Double Dose at GWAE: Our gambling "SuperBloggers" are hard at it, with a flurry of new posts today from Bob Dancer (video poker), Bill Ordine (Daily Fantasy), Blair Rodman (poker), and Richard Munchkin (GWAE podcast preview), making it a quadruple dose by the time we'd finished writing this post of our own! Plus, the inaugural post from FrankB (formerly of LVASports) for the GamblingWithAnEdge "SuperBlog" concerning Nevada entity betting (Part I of II), is seeing some major action and feedback in the "comments" -- don't forget anyone is free to post observations and questions to all the GWAE bloggers, who will respond (where warranted) whenever time permits (and subject to moderator approval). Our aim is for this blog to be an interactive resource for all serious gamblers, whether professional or recreational, so take advantage of having access to some of the most-successful advantage players on the planet! (You won't find them anywhere else.)
• July 19, 2016 09:55 Cleopatra's Barge Headed to Dry Dock (We Hope): The veteran Egyptian-themed nightlife venue at Caesars Palace, currently home to Brit. crooner Matt Goss, is to close after 46 years (a late addition that came four years after the main property first opened, we guess the famous floating lounge wasn't on the guest list for the Big 50 celebrations its parent property is celebrating all summer long). The unofficial word is that the space will be reinvented as an all-new contemporary nightclub of some sort from a leading live-music brand; we just hope a) that the iconic gold barge itself -- apparently a much scaled-down replica of the Egyptian queen's own -- will find an appropriate home and b) that the designers of the new venue do their due diligence and don't ignore the reason why Caesars chose to add a floating nightlife venue after the fact...
In closing, Cleopatra's Barge joins another cool, if more obscure and low-key venue at the Palace: The Seahorse Lounge, known for its signature aquarium that was home to a herd* of Australian Pot Belly Seahorses (*yes, that's the collective term!) also recently shuttered, although what will replace it has yet to be announced.
• July 19, 2016 07:41 November Nine: The final table for the World Series of Poker Main Event is set, with nine left from the starting 6,737. Here are the players and their chip counts.
Cliff Josephy 74,600,000
Qui Nguyen 67,925,000
Gordon Vayo 49,375,000
Kenny Hallaert 43,325,000
Michael Ruane 31,600,000
Vojtech Ruzicka 27,300,000
Griffin Benger 26,175,000
Jerry Wong 10,175,000
Fernando Pons 6,150,000
Josephy's chip count going into the final table is the highest ever since the instituting of the current format. Despite the fact that the players will reconvene for the final table at the Rio on Oct. 30, they're still being referred to as the November Nine; the champion will be determined on Nov. 1.
• July 18, 2016 16:25 Absinthe to Absent Itself from Caesars: The latest in a current deluge of show-closure announcements is the bombshell, just dropped by John Katsilometes of the LV Sun. that the smash-hit adult sideshow Absinthe will be departing the Roman Plaza at Caesars -- its home of five years -- this October 21. The producers maintain that the signature Spiegeltent will be moving to a new home somewhere on the Strip, but have yet to disclose where that may be.
• July 18, 2016 16:11 Queen of Comps Gets Arty: In a departure from your usual writings about video poker schedules and players club bonuses, Jean Scott's latest Frugal Vegas post concerns a family trip to see some public art that was able to impress even the most jaded of Vegas residents -- and it's fee to see, making it a great "frugal" play, too! Click the link to read the post and see what all the fuss is about.
• July 18, 2016 10:58 Show Stopping: It's been announced that Showstoppers at Wynn Las Vegas is closing after less than a two-year run. The last performance is scheduled for September 30. No reason for the closing was given and future plans for the showroom were not divulged.
• July 18, 2016 10:43 WSOP Playing to Final Nine: The World Series of Poker Main Event is down to 27 players. The chip leader is Vojtech Ruzicka with 26.4 million, followed by Michael Ruane with 24,565,000 million and Cliff Josephy with 23,860,000 million. The field is almost all newcomers, with Josephy the only player to have already won a bracelet (he has two). Also in the field is Antoine Saout, trying to make his second November Nine (although this year's final will be played in October, making it the October Nine). The best-known player remaining is probably Tom Marchese. At the end of play today, the final nine will have been determined.
• July 17, 2016 19:02 Back to the Beginning for Downtown Grand: The Downtown Grand has done a complete flip-flop with regard to its casino layout. After closing its pit and moving everything to different parts of the floor, everything is pretty much back to where it was when the casino opened. The Grand is promoting hard with lots of deals and events, including a video poker tournament July 28-30, with a $100 entry fee and a $12,500 prize pool, that looks interesting. We'll post more details this week.
• July 17, 2016 16:15 A Bracelet for Dunst (*Tony Dunst): Lost in the excitement surrounding the WSOP Main Event, popular poker TV personality and one of our top authors, Tony Dunst (*who's original Twitter handle was @Bond_18), won his first World Series of Poker bracelet last week when he topped a big field of 2,452 players to win a prize of $339,254 in a $1,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em event. Tony is one of the authors for two Huntington Press poker books, The Raiser's Edge and Flop, Turn, River. Congratulations! HP stablemates Bertrand "ElkY" Grospelier (co-author of The Raiser's Edge) and Blair Rodman (Kill Phil), meanwhile, made it to Day 3 and Day 4 of the 2016 Main Event, respectively, before hitting the rail.
• July 17, 2016 09:58 Sunday Funday 30 Poker Tournament at Noon: So you aren't still alive in the World Series of Poker's Main Event, registration is now open for our "Sunday Funday 30" poker tournament. Play begins at noon PST/3 p.m. EST today. Along with $100 for first, prizes include an autographed hard cover of The Law for Gamblers, the classic blackjack reference book Blackjack Attack, and our new books, Cherry Picker and Mad Dog Coll. Prizes will again be awarded to the first 14 finishers. See the entire prize pool and register to play at the LVA Casino (once signed in, click on "Poker Tournaments" and register for Tourney ID 11346). This tournament is completely free to play. There will also be other tourneys running all day for gift cards and play chips. Come have some fun! See you at noon.
• July 17, 2016 08:40 WSOP Main Event Day 5: With 80 players remaining, Jerry Wong is the chip leader with 11.6 million. He's followed by Jan Suchanek with 10.3 million and Kenny Hallaert with 10.1 million. Still in the hunt are Chris Klodnicki, Daniel Colman, Paul Volpe, Tom Marchese, and Antoine Saout, who finished third in 2009. The last woman standing was Gaelle Baumann, who finished 102nd. Baumann was also the last woman out in 2012, when she finished 10th. There are no former winners left in the field.
• July 17, 2016 08:17 British Open Line: Going into today's final round of golf's British Open, Henrik Stenson is the favorite to win at -135. Phil Mickelson is +154. This line was posted with the round already in progress.
• July 16, 2016 16:00 FrankB Takes On Entities: Are you considering investing in a sports-betting entity? These recently approved groups that are portraying themselves as gambling hedge funds will be pushing hard for investors leading into football season, but there are some serious flaws in the arrangement as it’s currently being offered. A post by FrankB in the GamblingWithAnEdge.com SuperBlog shines a bright light on some serious problems.
• July 16, 2016 11:59 Free LVA Online Poker Tournament Tomorrow: Reserve some time tomorrow to play in our 30th Sunday Funday online poker tournament. First place gets $100, and prizes will be awarded to the top 14 places. Prizes include the autographed hard cover of our new book, The Law for Gamblers, the new Eating Las Vegas 2016, and and the classic Blackjack Attack. The game kicks off at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST. It's completely free to play, with registration beginning two hours before the tournament at the LVA Casino.
• July 16, 2016 11:49 Reno Station: Station Casinos has announced that it will build a $50-$70 million casino in Reno, it's first in Northern Nevada. The project will be located on Virginia St. near the convention center and will not include a hotel. The announcement did not disclose a name or a development timetable.
• July 16, 2016 10:47 WSOP Main Event Day 4: With just 251 players remaining in the World Series of Poker Main Event, Bryan Piccoli is the new chip leader, with 4 million. He's followed by Daniel Colman and Thomas Miller, each with 3.7 million. Along with Colman, top names still alive are Mike Gorodinsky, Chris Klodnicki, Shaun Deeb, Todd Brunson, Paul Volpe, and former Main Event champions Greg Raymer and Johnny Chan.
• July 15, 2016 11:43 Showboat Back in Biz ... Minus Casino: Developer Bart Blatstein has debuted Atlantic City's former Showboat casino property as a non-gaming boutique hotel in almost record time, after a protracted negotiations finally led to a deal back in January. The 850-room hotel is non-smoking and is reportedly receiving positive feedback from its first guests.
• July 15, 2016 10:44 12 Inches of Sin: Downtown's Sin City Gallery is, for the sixth consecutive year, asking artists to submit for "12 Inches of Sin" -- the annual juried art exhibition of provocative and witty erotica and sensuality that now draws diverse and provocative artists from around the world, with entries that must not be larger than one foot square. Check out this Vimeo about 12 Inches of Sin V for more info; the submission deadline for this year is August 1.
• July 15, 2016 10:18 $600K Freedom to Roam Giveaway from Boyd: Fridays in July, swipe your B Connected card at Gold Coast, Suncoast, the Orleans, or Sam's Town casinos to earn multiple (up to 50X) bonus entries into the "Freedom to Roam" giveaway, with drawings at each property Saturday for prizes ranging from $250 to a Jeep Renegade (or a $12,000 cash option). Visit the players club booth at any participating Boyd casino for more information.
• July 15, 2016 08:23 Bubble Boy: The Main Event got "into the money" last night, with the cutoff at 1,011th position. All players from that point forward get a minimum of $15,000. This year's official bubble boy -- the player finishing 1,012th -- was Adam Furgatch, who was awarded the traditional $10K entry into next year's Main Event.
• July 15, 2016 07:31 WSOP Main Event Day 3: The Day 3 chip leader is Kenny Hallaert with 1,709,000, followed by Jared Bleznick (1,607,000), Duy Ho (1,480,000), and Killian Kramer (1,400,000). Antonio Esfandiari is 7th with 1,381,000 and Shaun Deeb is 12th with 1,266,000. Notable eliminations included David Chiu, David Benyamine, Vanessa Selbst, David Williams, Scott Seiver, Ted Forrest, Bertrand Grospellier, Tony Dunst, Brandon Shack-Harris, Michael Mizrachi, Phil Hellmuth, and last year's winner, Joe McKeehen. Of the 800 players remaining, only four former Main Event champions remain: Greg Raymer, Ryan Riess Tom McEvoy, and Johnny Chan.
• July 14, 2016 19:13 MGM's Borgata Buyout Confirmed: The New Jersey Casino Control Commission confirmed Wednesday their approval of the purchase, by MGM Resorts International, of Boyd Gaming's 50 percent stake in Atlantic City’s Borgata resort. The deal was first announced back in late May and leaves MGM as the sole owner of Atlantic City's most upscale and successful resort-casino.
• July 14, 2016 16:40 Regulators Unimpressed by $2 Billion Casino Proposal: Nevada State Gaming Control Board members this week took no action to further the casino-licensing process for a $2 billion Tokyo Casino resort project that developers hope to bring to a 5-by-16-block area in West Las Vegas at 600 W. Jackson Ave., reports the LV R-J. The plans call initially for an 8,000-square-foot casino, with Phase II to include the addition of a boutique hotel plus a high-rise hotel tower, 2,000-seat center for performing arts, multiple Asian restaurants, and Japanese gardens and "experience park." But Board Chairman A.G. Burnett, and others, expressed concern about non-cooperation with regulatory requirements and a lack of transparency regarding the project's financing and source(s) of investment, so for now this project is as on-ice as the nearby Moulin Rouge.
• July 14, 2016 16:33 Las Vegas This Weekend: At a loose end? Looking for inspiration? Here are some of this weekend's highlights:
- The Smith Center gets retro with Cheyenne Jackson: Music Of The Mad Men Era (7/15-16), while Heather Michele Potter performs The Music of Carol King (7/17)' and Idaho! The Comedy Musical continues its performance (7/6-17)
- Keeping it old-school, veterans Boston will be rockin' the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (7/15)
- The Happy Together Tour comes to the Golden Nugget (7/15)
- Brooklyn Bowl features Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious (7/15); the Psychedelic Furs (7/16), and Stephen "Ragga" Marley's The Fruit of Life Summer Tour (7/17)
- Planet Hollywood hosts Nicky Jam (7/15
- Reba, Brooks & Dunn return to Caesars Palace (7/15-16)
- Rockstar Energy Drink brings the Taste of Chaos to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan (7/15)
- Dixie Chicks are in the spotlight at T-Mobile Arena (7/16)
- Mandalay Bay Events Center hosts the EVO 2016 World Finals (7/17)
- Hard Rock welcomes Twenty-One Pilots to The Joint (7/15) while iHeartRadio Las Vegas & 24/7 Comedy present Cowboy Bill & Chad Prather to Vinyl (7/15)
- The Kingston Trio are center stage at South Point (7/15-17)
- The Orleans features funnyman Dennis Miller (7/15-16)
- And Eastside Cannery hosts the World Fighting Championships (7/16)
• July 14, 2016 10:08 America's Friendliest Cities: Nope, Las Vegas is not among them, according to the latest list released by luxury-travel site and chosen by their readers from among 400 possible contenders (the same readers who recently ranked us #12 for rudeness, so this latest result comes not as a great surprise). The destinations were rated for diverse attributes, ranging from best burgers and wine bars, to their walkability, quirkiness, "charming geekiness," and both the "hotness" and the attitude of the natives -- areas in which Sin City evidently be taking a leaf out of winner San Antonio's book.
• July 14, 2016 09:43 WSOP Main Event Day 2C: Gustavo Lopes was the Day 2C chip leader with 630,700, putting him in second place overall, behind Valentin Vornicu with 838,600. The biggest name near the top is Michael Mizrachi, in 9th with 549,400. Notable eliminations included Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Fedor Holz. Day 3 play begins at noon today with the remaining field of 2,176 all playing together for the first time.
• July 13, 2016 16:53 Ordine on 'Skill vs. Luck' at Gambling With An Edge: Our daily fantasy sports expert Bill Ordine has posted on Skill vs. Luck in DFS. Read it now in our new expert-gambling SuperBlog at http://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/whatsnews.cfm#22545
• July 13, 2016 15:07 Life is Beautiful Contest: The downtown music-and-lifestyle festival, taking place this year Sept. 24-25, is showing some love to loyal fans with a contest prize of two 3-day GA tix to this year's event for the best photograph submitted from the 2015 festival. Post your favorite snap using tags #MemoriesAreBeautiful #LifeisBeautifulFest; the winner will be chosen August 10.
• July 13, 2016 11:52 Judge Nixes Sale of Moulin Rouge: Just as predicted in our recent Question of the Day on the subject, on Tuesday Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez rejected the proposed sale of the historic former-casino site to Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, citing both the recently publicized infighting within the company and, on a more positive front, the fact that there's apparently a better offer on the table from another buyer... Stay tuned!
• July 13, 2016 09:40 WSOP Main Event Day 2A/B: The new leader after Day 2A/B, which combined the survivors from Day 1A and 1B, is Valentin Vornicu with 838,600. Big names in position include Antonio Esfandiari (327,400), Antoine Saout (291,100), Bertrand Grospellier (278,200), Greg Raymer (179,800), and Benny Glaser (167,800). The tournament continues today with Day 2C play beginning at 11 a.m.
• July 13, 2016 09:13 MGM Resorts Launches Real-Money Mobile Tournaments: Bingo on the go comes to the Strip, with MGM Resorts' launch of easyPLAY® Mobile Tournaments, the the first digital, interactive, real-money mobile gaming platform to be offered by a regulated casino in the U.S. Guests at nine of the company's Strip properties (Circus Circus evidently was not invited to the party) can now compete with other guests in regularly scheduled bingo, slot, and video poker tournaments whenever and wherever they are on property, using their own mobile device or any of the new InteractivePro™ Tables located throughout Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, and New York-New York.
This new dimension to the casinos' offerings kicks off with an All Summer Long Winner Takes All Progressive Slot Tournament, with a $5 entry fee (registration closed Sept. 14) and a minimum grand prize of $10,000.
• July 12, 2016 16:41 Vegas NHL Team Names - the Poll!: Our current survey has been getting lots of action, but you still have until midnight tonight to cast your vote(s) (you may choose up to five potential names from our list, or submit your own suggestions), so make your picks if you haven't already. Tomorrow, a new LVA Reader Poll goes live...
• July 12, 2016 16:31 MLB All-Star Line: Tonight's Major League Baseball All-Star game is pick 'em between the American and National leagues. The run line is 7.5.
• July 12, 2016 16:04 Taco Bell Urban Restaurant Concept Coming to Strip: The new "Urban Restaurant Concept" announced by Taco Bell in 2015 and launched with Taco Bell Cantinas in Chicago and San Francisco, is expanding to Las Vegas Boulevard, it's been announced, with a new 24-hour two-story venue set to open this fall at Harmon Corner, across from CityCenter. The new direction for the fast food chain involves moving away from the drive-thru concept and re-branding its venues as urban tapas-style eateries, serving alcohol and featuring design touches like open brick work and outdoor patio dining. In an official statement last year, the Taco Bell that it's on a path to add 2,000 stores to its portfolio by 2022 and is striving to build or remodel around 600 restaurants per year.
• July 12, 2016 15:48 Jean Scott Takes a Stroll Down Memory Lane: Our Frugal Vegas doyenne and blogger has posted a flashback to 2003, plus check out her regular monthly "Casino Promotions" post for July, if you haven't already, where there are always useful tips and tidbits to pick up ... not to mention perils and pitfalls to be warned about!
• July 12, 2016 10:24 Dancer on Dotty's: To be more precise, in his video poker column this week -- now to be found at GamblingWithAnEdge.com -- Bob Dancer addresses some feedback he's received relating to a previous article hitting a $100,000 jackpot at a Dotty's slot parlor. Now that Bob's weekly feature is housed as part of the GWAE advantage-play "SuperBlog," (along with posts by James Grosjean, Richard Munchkin, Frank B, Bill Ordine, and other pros and experts), readers are able to post comments and pose questions to the bloggers, so please feel free to do so!
• July 12, 2016 10:03 Goss to Depart Gossy Room in September: Caesars Palace will be a bit less Brit* come the fall, with news today that UK crooner Matt Goss is to end his show in what is currently known as the Gossy Room (previously Cleopatra's Barge), after a six-year run, with a final performance Sept. 14. What the future holds for the venerable venue has yet to be announced. (*They still have Gordon Ramsay, who'll be celebrating his 50th along with the property with a $1 million celebrity-studded party this August.)
• July 12, 2016 08:47 Holz Wins High Roller: In more World Series of Poker news, Fedor Holz won the $111,111 buy-in High Roller for One Drop and the $4,981,775 first prize. The event drew 183 players willing to put up the $111,111 entry fee. Last year's Main Event champion, Joe McKeehen, was fifth.
• July 12, 2016 08:28 WSOP Main Event Day 1C: The third and final Day 1 session sent a solid message that poker is alive and well. A huge field of 4,240 players were in the final session, topping last year's 3,963 to create the largest single-day Main Event field in history. The last-day rush raised the tournament's total entries to 6,737, a 4.9% increase over last year's 6,420, making it the largest Main Event field in five years. The Day 1C chip leader was Timothy Sheehan with 394,100, which makes him the overall tournament leader. The total prize pool is $63,327,800 and 1,011 players will make the money, with the winner taking down $8 million. Notable eliminations included Phil Laak, John Racener, Brandon Cantu, and Jason Mercier. One other development of note was the appearance of Phil Ivey, who showed up to play the "Big One" after bypassing all of this year's other events. The first of two Day 2 sessions begins at 11 a.m. today.
• July 11, 2016 18:57 DFS Advice on the SuperBlog: One of the featured contributors on our new SuperBlog is Bill Ordine, author of our book Fantasy Sports, Real Money. Check out Bill's latest post on best baseball line-ups after the All-Star break at GamblingWithAnEdge.com.
• July 11, 2016 15:38 D'town Events Center Hosts Treat for Hip Hop Fans: Things are getting busy down at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, with a strong schedule of musical acts passing through this summer. This includes, on Saturday July 23, "The Art of Rap," an old-school showcase featuring a stellar lineup of old-school hip hop legends, including: Public Enemy; Grandmaster's Furious Five (presumably minus G'master Flash himself); Sugarhill Gang; EPMD; Naughty By Nature; Mobb Deep; and Kurtis Blow, while tickets start at just $28 (plus tax/fees).
• July 11, 2016 15:22 UFC Sold for $4 Billion: Now we know how the Fertitta brothers will be financing the recently announced upgrade at Palace Station, with word that the long-circulated rumor has come to fruition and Zuffa, LLC, the company that owns UFC, has been sold to talent agency WME-IMG for $4 billion.
• July 11, 2016 12:42 Name Change for Palms' Chinese: We're guessing that "Lao Sze Chuan" may have been causing some pronunciation problems among diners, but whatever the reason the Chinese restaurant at the Palms has been renamed China House (the management and chef remain the same).
• July 11, 2016 08:14 WSOP Main Event Day 1B: The Day 1B chip leader was Andrey Zaichenko with 292,700. There were 1,733 entrants to bring the two-day total to 2,497 -- 40 above the two-day total in 2015. Notable eliminations to this point include Andy Bloch, TJ Cloutier, Billy Baxter, Jeremy Ausmus, John Hennigan, Rep Porter, and former Main Event winner Robert Varkonyi. The final Day 1 flight begins at 11 a.m. today.
• July 10, 2016 08:45 Eurocup Final Line: France is a -220 favorite over Portugal in today's Eurocup Final soccer match. The goal line is 2.
• July 10, 2016 06:47 WSOP Main Event Day 1A: Attendance was up slightly for the first of three "Day 1" sessions in the World Series of Poker Main Event, with 764 entries compared to 741 last year; 567 remain. The chip leader is Gary Sewell, with 312,500. Day 1B play begins today at 11 a.m.
• July 10, 2016 05:48 Men's Wimbledon Final Line: Andy Murray is a -360 favorite over Milos Raonic in today's Wimbledon men's tennis final. Due to a problem on our end, this match is in progress as we post this line.
• July 9, 2016 18:31 UFC Tate/Nunes: Miesha Tate is a -250 favorite over Amanda Nunes in tonight's main event of the historic UFC 200. In the other featured matches, Mark Hunt is -160 over Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez is -320 over Travis Browne, Frankie Edgar is -130 over Jose Aldo, and Daniel Cormier is -480 over Anderson Silva.
• July 9, 2016 13:30 WSOP Main Event Begins: The World Series of Poker's Main Event starts today with the first of three Day 1 sessions. For the survivors, Day 2 begins Tuesday. We'll report on results in this space.
• July 9, 2016 13:18 New Pub at Tuscany: The new Pub 365 has opened at Tuscany in the space that used to be the Cantina. The bar-style restaurant offers 365 different craft beers, with 40 draft selections.
• July 9, 2016 09:58 Mega Millions Hit: The Mega Millions lottery was hit in Indiana for a prize estimated at $540 million. It's the largest single-ticket Mega Millions win ever. The winning numbers were 8, 19, 20, 55, 73, and 5 for the Mega Ball.
• July 8, 2016 22:35 Women's Wimbledon Finals Line: Serena Williams is a -345 favorite over Angelique Kerber in tomorrow's Wimbledon woman's tennis final. The match starts early, at 8 am EST.
• July 8, 2016 17:44 UFC Jedrzejczyk/Gadelha Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a -120 favorite over Claudia Gadelha in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Andrew Sanchez is -140 over Khalil Rountree.
• July 8, 2016 13:01 Normandie Card Club Sold: As expected, Larry Flynt has bought the Normandie Casino card club in Gardena, California. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed, but it was announced that the name will be changed to Larry Flynt's Lucky Lady Casino. Flynt also owns the nearby Hustler Casino.
• July 8, 2016 10:04 Wild Wild West Touted for Stadium Site: The latest proposed site for a $1.45 billion domed football stadium that could someday be home to an NFL team is the 100-acre parcel where the Wild Wild West Gambling Hall & Hotel now stands. Red Rock Resorts Inc. says it would be willing to sell the land or otherwise partner if the deal is right. The location is now being touted as one of the front-runners to be the site of the stadium if the deal ever comes off.
• July 7, 2016 18:48 UFC dos Anjos/Alvarez: Rafael dos Anjos is a -300 favorite over Eddie Alvarez in tonight's UFC main event. In the other featured match, Roy Nelson is -115 over Derrick Lewis. Tonight is the first of three consecutive nights of UFC events, culminating with UFC 200 on Saturday.
• July 7, 2016 17:59 New Strip Club Opens This Weekend: It was back in early December 2015 that we first reported a new gentlemen's club was to open -- or, to be more accurate, that a veteran strip club venue was to be reincarnated yet again. The location in question is 3500 W. Naples Dr. (in the obscure rabbit-warren of a neighborhood behind The Cosmopolitan), which in the past has been known as Leopard Lounge, Men's Club, Badda Bing! and, most recently, the mysterious Oracle Mansion, but henceforth should be addressed as Sophia's. There's a sneak preview for industry insiders tonight, followed by a Grand Opening party Saturday that doubles as a UFC 200 viewing party, with no cover and an open bar for locals from 4-7 p.m., and again after 10 p.m., plus $20 buckets of Heineken all day/night. You can be sure that ToplessVegasOnline will be all over it, so look out for an expert take on the joint coming soon.
• July 7, 2016 15:03 Las Vegas This Weekend: Mainly, it seems to be a musical one, although we're throwing in some comedy and fighting for good measure. Oh, and the WSOBP too, of course:
- Smith Center welcomes Idaho! The Comedy Musical (7/6-17) while David Perrico performs Pop Evolution & Pop Strings (7/8)
- John Waite is in the spotlight at the Golden Nugget (7/8) with Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine performing the following evening (7/9-10)
- the prelude-to-Life Is Beautiful free Battle of The Bands returns to Brooklyn Bowl for the next round(7/10)
- Rick Springfield continues the Mandalay Bay Beach poolside concert series (7/9)
- Ted Nugent is center stage at The Foundry at SLS (7/8)
- Treasure Island features funnyman Adam Carolla (7/8)
- MGM Garden Arena brings you The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Jedrzejczyk vs Gadelha (7/8)
- There's no escape at the Hard Rock, where Parachute's performing at Vinyl (7/8), Widespread Panic takes over The Joint (7/8-10), and Mayer Hawthorne will be poolside (7/8)
- Catch Chicago at The Pearl at the Palms (7/9)
- The Orleans hosts the Throwback Sizzling Jam session (7/8)
- And Westgate Las Vegas welcomes The 11th Annual World Series of Beer Pong (7/6-10) (7/9)
• July 7, 2016 11:45 $17.55 Million New Vegas Pad for Copperfield: Records are being broken all over the place, with word that illusionist David Copperfield is now the proud owner of the most-expensive home ever to be sold in Las Vegas. He paid $17.55 million for the eight-bedroom mansion, located within a Summerlin gated community, which among its amenities features a movie theater, nightclub, guest quarters, a golf simulator (did no one tell him about Topgolf?), gym/spa, infinity swimming pool, wine cellar, and two elevators that run from the roof deck to the subterranean garage, which comes complete with a detailing room.
• July 7, 2016 11:30 Solar Record for MGM Resorts: With the completion this week of its solar-expansion project this week, which included the addition of more than 26,000 panels covering 28 acres on the roof of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to produce a 8.3 megawatt system, MGM Resorts International ousted Toys "R" Us from the top spot and can now boast the largest rooftop solar installation in the U.S. The rooftop installation was built for and is owned by NRG Energy Inc., which is selling the output, which is capable of supply 25 percent of the provide 25 percent of the resort's electricity, under a 25-year contract.
• July 7, 2016 10:21 Rast Wins PPC: Brian Rast won the prestigious Poker Players Championship and collected the $1,296,097 first prize. Rast came from way back to overtake runner-up Justin Bonomo, who'd led throughout most of the tournament. It was Rast's second win in this event, which he also won in 2011, making him the second player to win it twice. He joins Michael Mizrachi, who almost did it a third time, finishing 4th this year. It was Rast's third bracelet overall.
• July 7, 2016 10:17 Eurocup Germany/France: France is a -120 favorite over the Wales in today's Eurocup semi-final soccer match. The goal line is 2.
• July 6, 2016 17:57 New Vegas Eating Challenge: With good timing, in light of local competitive eater Miki Sudo's third successive triumph in the annual Nathan's Famous Coney Island challenge last weekend, Hooters has thrown down Las Vegas' latest gustatory gauntlet, with the property's Mad Onion restaurant offering a free 40-oz steak, if the customer devours the entire thing in 30 minutes or less. The offer is listed as good through Dec. 25 but those are the only details either we, or the front desk at Hooters, can confirm right now (Mad Onion is only open Thurs.-Sun.) By our reckoning, that brings the total current number of eating challenges in the Valley of Hyperbole to a whopping 29, from Vietnamese noodle soup to ice cream sundaes, via burgers, pizzas, pancakes, hot wings, and more.
• July 6, 2016 16:30 Mega Millions Jackpot Hits Half-Billion Mark: There was no winner following Tuesday night's drawing, meaning the Mega Millions inter-state lottery continues to experience the longest phase of rollover jackpots -- now standing at 34 in succession -- in its history. With no winning ticket sold in almost four months, the prize is now up to an estimated $508 million ahead of Friday's drawing.
• July 6, 2016 15:27 Massive Upgrade for Palace Station: In the wake of celebrating its 40th birthday as the reinvented Station Casino property last weekend, "Eater Vegas" reports that a massive remodel is planned for Palace Station. Already the property has seen some enhancements to its dining scene and the race and sports book is pegged for the same kind of state-of-the-art upgrade that's been introduced at Red Rock and Boulder Station, but for Palace, apparently, the sky's the limit, with plans submitted to the City of Las Vegas including: the demolition of the bargain-priced Courtyard Rooms to make way for a brand new 600-room modern hotel tower, possibly to feature a rooftop bar; a new bingo room; a massive casino expansion; a new pool deck with cabanas; at least two new restaurants and a new downstairs buffet, with the current upper-floor space slated for conversion to a movie theater and bowling alley. More generally, and any vestiges of former "themes" will be expunged, meaning the old place will likely be unrecognizable once/if the plans are are approved and the multi-million dollar, multi-year project gets a green light from the City planners.
• July 6, 2016 15:12 Meet & Greets with Pawn Stars: We regularly field queries from readers wanting to know when and where might offer the best chance of spotting a bona fide Vegas celebrity chef or reality-TV star in the flesh, and now the cast of History Channel's hit show "Pawn Stars" are making the chances of a live sighting much easier by hosting a regular weekly meet-and-greet session at their downtown store.
The events at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop were announced recently, but already -- due to the high demand -- the time slot has been moved and will now be Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Entry is free, but a donation to one of the store's charities of choice is encouraged and the first five people each session to contribute $100 or more get treated to a private lunch with Chumlee, plus one guest, the following day.) In addition to the main players, other favorites and experts from the show will also be doing meet & greets, with security guard Antwaun in attendance from 11 a.m. to noon Saturdays and expert Mark Hall Patton will be at the shop on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.
• July 6, 2016 11:31 Eurocup Wales/Portugal: Portugal is a -220 favorite over Wales in today's Eurocup semi-final soccer match. The goal line is 2.
• July 6, 2016 11:27 Fremont Casino Celebrates '60': While Caesars Palace is in the midst of ongoing 50th-anniversary celebrations, downtown's Fremont Hotel & Casino is quietly turning 60 this year and is also hosting some festivities of its own, mainly in the form of an ongoing summer casino promo every Thursday through September 29. Earn up to 60X points, with 100 points earning players the choice of a free breakfast or lunch buffet, or 200 points for dinner, plus entries into a weekly 6 p.m. drawing, when six players each receive $100 cash. The property also recently hosted a job fair (in conjunction with Boyd's Cal and Main Street Station properties) and has been undergoing some upgrades, including the addition of the new Filament Bar.
• July 6, 2016 11:05 Topgolf Tour, Championship Coming to Vegas: Las Vegas' new flagship Topgolf attraction is to host the Championship event for this fall's inaugural Topgolf Tour, with male and female golfers competing equally for the top prize of a weekend in Vegas and $50,000 cash. Regional tournaments will take place in 16 cities across the U.S. from Aug. 7 to Nov. 6, including Las Vegas on Nov. 6, where the Championship will also take place Nov. 12-13. For more info, or to register, visit the official Tour.Topgolf.com website.
• July 6, 2016 10:06 Movement on the Moulin Rouge Front? Probably Not: For a property that has barely ever been open, the Moulin Rouge has a particularly storied history, the latest chapter of which is set to play out in court this Friday, July 8, when a judge will decide whether or not to approve the sale of the site to local consortium Moulin Rouge Holdings LLC, the latest in a long line of would-be restorers of the historic former downtown motel-casino, currently in foreclosure. A report in Wednesday's LV R-J, however, indicated that all is far from harmonious behind the scenes at Moulin Rouge LLC, while evidently neither the $8 million needed to purchase the property, nor the estimated $125-150 million needed to realize the ambitious vision outlined in the company's renderings, so once again we're not holding our breath.
• July 5, 2016 17:16 Dancer Makes a Move: Bob Dancer has posted the latest of his regular weekly video poker columns, only now this feature is no longer hosted by the LasVegasAdvisor.com mothership; instead, it's been amalgamated into a new advantage-play "SuperBlog" and joins the already-established Gambling With An Edge Podcast, co-hosted by Dancer with Richard Munchkin, all under one collective roof at GamblingWithAnEdge.com.
Now, you can read all the posts by Huntington Press' stable of professional gamblers and experts, including Bob Dancer (video poker), James Grosjean (AP), Blair Rodman (poker), Frank B. (sports), Bill Ordine (DFS), and others, plus you can post feedback on blog entries and podcast episodes, and pose your questions to the authors, using the "Comments" feature. Cool!
• July 5, 2016 12:14 Mayweather to Enter Strip Club Biz?: Notorious strip club aficionado and rainmaker Floyd Mayweather Jr. has announced that his years-old plan to open a Las Vegas gentlemen's club is finally coming to fruition: Prepare yourself for the debut of @GirlCollection, an entity which already had thousands for Twitter and Instagram followers, even though the venue's location, opening date, and other key details have yet to be disclosed by the boxer. Follow @ToplessVegas for updates.
• July 5, 2016 11:42 Changes Afoot at Showcase Mall: Following last December's news that the Strip's Showcase Mall had been sold comes an update on some of the changes that were promised for the venue, which first opened in 1996. The Denny's (which originally occupied the site and was incorporated into Showcase) has already undergone a facelift, but now we learn via the "Eater Vegas" blog that La Salsa Cantina has been shuttered, to be replaced by La Salsa Daiquiri Bar by the same company. In addition, at some undetermined future date United Artists Showcase Theatre 8, the Strip's only movie theater, is also set to screen its last film, while upgrades are in the works for the parking garage and additional retail space is planned to accommodate, among other things, a Ross Dress for Less store. Odd.
• July 5, 2016 11:34 Veteran Restaurant Gets a Makeover: The Palm, a favorite spot in the Forum Shops for power lunching since 1993, is closed for the summer to undergo a $1.5 million remodel, with plans to reopen in September. It has not been divulged whether the signature caricatures of local personalities that adorn the walls will survive the redesign or not...
• July 4, 2016 16:03 Grosjean Posts on Poisoned Players Cards: James Grosjean has put up a new blog post explaining how pros protect against being trespassed when they feel that they may have been discovered. The elaborate procedure involving players cards, VIP Services, hosts, and plants is an example of how sophisticated the advantage player vs. casino cat-and-mouse game can get. Check it out at our new gambling blog, GamblingWithAnEdge.com.
• July 4, 2016 16:02 Entrants Up for Poker Players Championship: The World Series of Poker's $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship is underway with a field of 91, an 8% increase over last year. Justin Bonomo is the chip leader, with two-time winner Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi almost even in second.
• July 4, 2016 16:01 Nathan's Hot Dog Line: Joey Chestnut is the -155 favorite to win today's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, with defending champ Matt Stonie the second favorite at +120 (live dog?). The over/under for dogs downed is 66.5. In the woman's competition, Las Vegas' Miki Sudo seeks her third straight Nathan's win.
• July 4, 2016 15:59 Happy 4th of July: The major fireworks displays took place last night, but there are still July 4th events happening today. There will be celebrations and fireworks in Henderson and at the Las Vegas 51s game tonight, and festivities throughout the day at The LINQ Promenade, the bridge at NY-NY, in front of Caesars Palace, and Container Park. El Cortez has free White Castle hamburgers for players from noon to 6 p.m. Boyd casinos have 15X points on penny slots, 11X on other slots, and 7X on video poker (specific local zip codes only at California and Main Street Station). Silverton is offering 2-for-1 buffets until 9 p.m. (swipe at a kiosk) and point multipliers of 10X to 16X on slots, depending on club level.
• July 3, 2016 17:22 Additional Notable Fireworks Shows Tonight:
- Mandalay Bay: There will be a pyrotechnic spectacular following 311's Mandalay Bay Beach concert tonight. (The performance is due to get underway at 8:30 p.m., so we'd guess the fireworks show will be around 10 p.m.)
- Stratosphere: A massive fireworks display will launch from various on-site locations, including the top of the tower, at 9 p.m. For a birds-eye view, both the all-ages Elation Pool and the 21+ Radius Rooftop Pool are hosting parties tonight. The former starts at 5 p.m. and features a live performance by Yellow Brick Road (cover $30), while the latter will feature an open bar (call drinks) from 6-7 p.m. and a DJ (cover $60).
- Lake Las Vegas: The Lake is also staging its Independence Day celebration Sunday, with BBQ stations, kids' activities, and a sidewalk sale already underway. At 8 p.m. there will be a performance by the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, followed by not one, but two simultaneous fireworks displays at 9 p.m.
• July 3, 2016 16:20 Caesars Fireworks Tonight: Caesars Palace gets July 4th off to an early start tonight with a 13.5-minute fireworks display at 8:45 p.m. The fireworks will be followed by a jump by the Red Bull Air Force Sky Diving team. All will take place amidst a "block party" with live music, games, and food and drink specials in front of the casino.
• July 3, 2016 16:17 Wynn's Tahoe Digs for Sale: A Lake Tahoe estate called Old Forte that was formerly owned by Steve Wynn is up for sale. The 12,661-square-foot house in Incline Village that comes with a guest house, a pier and boat hoist, 210 feet of lake frontage, and a private beach can be yours for $45 million. Wynn bought the property, which at the time had only a cabin on five acres, in 1993 for $6.5 million.
• July 3, 2016 14:07 Downtown Coffeehouse Closing: Downtown's The Beat Coffeehouse & Records is closing. An announcement indicated it will close by Sept. 30 and will be replaced with a chain restaurant out of California called Eureka!.
• July 3, 2016 10:10 Grosjean in New York Times Magazine: Today's New York Times Magazine contains a feature article on renowned advantage player James Grosjean. "How 'Advantage Players' Game the Casinos" also tells the inside story of the highly publicized big baccarat wins of poker player Phil Ivey and how they were actually orchestrated by his female partner, but the meat of the story follows a major play conceived by Grosjean, from inception to completion. It's a fascinating read, with author Michael Kaplan providing insight rarely found in a mainstream gambling story. As for the LVA connection, Grosjean's blog, now a part of our just-launched GamblingWithAnEdge.com SuperBlog is mentioned, along with our book Gambling Wizards, by Richard Munchkin, who's also prominent in the story.
• July 2, 2016 18:12 Downtown's Poppin' Tonight: Downtown's "Rock of Vegas" summer concert series at the Fremont Street Experience continues tonight with Cherry Poppin' Daddies. The free concert begins at 9 p.m. on the 1st Street Stage. And at 9:30, look toward the Plaza, where fireworks will be poppin' in celebration of the opening of its completely revamped rooftop pool complex.
• July 2, 2016 14:07 New Gambling Blog Goes Live: Our new gambling blog has debuted at GamblingWithAnEdge.com This new "SuperBlog" brings together several big names in the gambling world, including James Grosjean and Richard Munchkin blogging on advantage play, Bob Dancer on video poker, Bill Ordine on daily fantasy sports, and Frank B on sports betting. Blair Rodman is also posting on the World Series of Poker and other posters and new subjects are planned. The blog will also serve as a point of information on upcoming shows for the Gambling With and Edge podcast and a place for listeners to post comments and interact. The current site is in beta mode, so you'll see a lot of changes in the upcoming weeks, but there's a lot of good information up already. Check it out and join in with your questions and comments.
• July 2, 2016 09:31 Holo Holo Opens at California: Holo Holo, the Happiest Bar has opened at the California, replacing the east side San Francisco Pub. To celebrate the opening, all beers are $3 through Sunday.
• July 1, 2016 15:16 Happy 40th to Station Casinos!: July 1 marks the date on which Station Casinos was founded, back in 1976, with the opening of what was originally called The Casino, then Bingo Palace and, since 1984, has been in its present incarnation as Palace Station. Station Resorts LLC, now publicly trading as Red Rock Resorts Inc., is marking The Big 40 with extensive festivities, kicking off with a 9 p.m. fireworks show at Palace Station tonight. In addition, on July 4 Boarding Pass members can earn points to score a commemorative Bingo Palace T-shirt; commemorative players cards and $5 chips will be available; there will be month-long specials around the clock at all Station Casino coffee shops, plus $25 off bills of $50 or more at Palace Station's Charcoal Room steakhouse for Boarding Pass members. In addition, throughout July play a kiosk game every day for a chance to win up to $40,000 cash, free slot play, points, and other prizes, and look out for a scratch-card promo, Fridays through Sundays, with a special drawing for up to $10,000 being held July 31 at each Station property. If you can get your hands on a copy of today's LV Review-Journal, there's a cool ad insert with a recreation of the 1976 news article announcing the opening of The Casino.
• July 1, 2016 11:19 Celebrations Expected to Double Road Traffic this Weekend: Approximately 307,000 visitors are expected to celebrate July 4 in Las Vegas this weekend, and with most of them driving that will swell the numbers on area roads to almost double the norm, at around 200,000, so allow for plenty of extra travel time, especially if using the Strip, I-15, or US 95.
• July 1, 2016 11:00 Virtual Racing Hits Nevada: After two years spent gaining regulatory approval from the Gaming Control Board, sports book operator William Hill has debuted wagering on Virtual Racing at two of its Nevada books, located at the Plaza and Silver Sevens casinos. The simulated races apparently feature the voice of legendary race caller Tom Durkin and state-of-the-art graphics, with a new race screened every five minutes. Gamblers can bet Win, Place, Show, Exactas, and Trifectas on lineups ranging from eight to twelve animated horses. Is this the next generation of Sigma Derby?!
• July 1, 2016 10:48 Wet 'n Wild Makes a Splash with Summer Special: For a limited time, purchase a one-day pass to Wet'n'Wild water park, priced at $39.99, and receive free access for the rest of the season. The cheapest season ticket is $79.99, so that's a $40 saving! The attraction, located at 7055 S. Fort Apache, features 25 slides and attractions and regularly hosts "fun in the sun" events, including "Children’s Story Time," held every Thursday at noon inside Kiddie Cove at noon; "Dive-In Movies," screened at the Red Rock Bay wave pool every Friday at 8 p.m.; and "Saturday Sessions," a late-night pool party aimed at tweens, teens, and adults with performances by local DJs every Saturday at 8 p.m. For more info visit wetnwildlasvegas.com.
• July 1, 2016 10:00 Vegas Visitation Dips: May showed the first decline in visitation to Southern Nevada in more than a year, with the LVCVA reporting that tourism was down by almost 4 percent, at 3.6 million people. The drop is being attributed more to the inflated figure for 2015, which saw the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight and Rock in Rio festivals coinciding to abnormally boost visitation, plus the vagaries of the calendar that meant there were five weekends in May 2015 but only four this year.