Las Vegas: Football parties galore

Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column.

Sept. 15, 2011

Football season is here and in Las Vegas, that means lots of promotions. Parties, contests, betting specials and more are being unleashed this month and will continue through the Super Bowl. One of the best opportunities is two weekly handicapping contests that pay big money to winners and are free to enter.

For the second year in a row, the free contests are being held at Coast properties (Gold Coast, Suncoast, Orleans and Sam’s Town, among others) and M Resort. You can win up to $30,000 each week in the winner-take-all¬†Coast contest. It’s not easy, though — you’ll need a perfect, or near-perfect, card to cash. The M Contest pays out $9,000 each week, but there will be far fewer players because it’s not at multiple casinos.

Just show up on any weekend before the games begin and follow the posted instructions to play.

Best parties: Party central on football Sundays figures to be the Las Vegas Hilton, where you can watch games for free on big screens in the sports book and showroom, while taking advantage of food and drink specials. The traditional play for Monday-night games has been Sam’s Town or Suncoast, where in past years your first hot dog and beer have been on the house.

Better bet: If you want a deal on betting a game, look to the Las Vegas Hilton. From 3 to 11 p.m. Thursdays, you can bet $10.50 to win $10 on football, as opposed to the standard arrangement of betting $11 to win $10. It’s the only sports book in town offering this wagering rate.

Plaza opens: After a lengthy renovation of the hotel and casino, downtown’s historic Plaza has officially reopened. Additions include a sushi restaurant, Las Vegas’ fourth Hash House A Go Go, the Swingers Club (a nightlife venue on the casino floor that features dueling pianos and miniature golf) and upgrades in public areas. The biggest change, however, is in the 1,000 completely revamped rooms and suites. With rates beginning at about $40, they’re being touted as the best value downtown. Still to open is the speakeasy and steakhouse named for and owned by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman.

Jet closing: The Mirage’s Jet nightclub has closed. It will reopen on New Year’s Eve as 1OAK (“One of a Kind”).

Lobster Wednesdays: From 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays in September, get a whole lobster for $27.99 at Silverton’s Seasons buffet.

Walk-up betting: The new Lucky’s sports book at the Riviera features Las Vegas’ only walk-up betting window. The game lines are visible from the street and sidewalk outside.

New card: Station Casinos has launched a revamped Boarding Pass system that has several improved features: cash back (exchanging loyalty points for money) is now an option, points are earned three times faster, and all 18 Station, Fiesta and Wildfire casinos are linked.

Question: Is there such a thing as a 99-cent shrimp cocktail anymore?

Answer: It’s rare to find any 99-cent shrimp cocktail, let alone a good one. But a good 99-center is a staple of the snack bar at the Eldorado in Henderson, just south of Las Vegas. It also serves $2 homemade soup and $1.25 ice-cream cones.

Question: When is the Linq project scheduled for completion?

Answer: It will take close to two years to finish the Caesars Entertainment restaurant and entertainment complex. The projected finish date is June 2013.

For information about shows, buffets, coupons and deals, go to

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