Football Kicks Off in Las Vegas

 Sept. 1, 2010

Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column.

It’s that time again. Football season is here and in Las Vegas, that means deals and opportunities. As the NFL in particular gets bigger and more popular, the casinos create more and more ways to capitalize on it. Parties, contests, betting specials, and more will be unleashed this month and continue through the Super Bowl. One of the best opportunities this year comes from two weekly handicapping contests that pay real money to winners, but are free to enter. This year, the free contests will be 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 Coast contest, but it’s not easy—you’ll need a perfect, or near-perfect, card to cash. The M Contest pays out just $9,000 each week, but there will be much less competition. Just show up 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 the games for free on big screens in the sports book and showroom, while taking advantage of good 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 (not confirmed).

Less Juice: If you want a deal on betting a game, look to the Las Vegas Hilton again. On Thursdays from 3 to 11 pm, you can bet $10.50 to win $10 (on football), as opposed to the standard arrangement of betting $11 to win $10. The difference between what you bet and what you win is known as the “juice.”

Delicious: Several of the sports books have their own snack bars and delis, and they tend to be good. Best, though, is Del Mar at South Point. Monster sandwiches are $10.50 ($7.50 for a half), along with good soups and desserts.

 Question: Where are the good football contests this year?

Answer: A total of 16 contests are running in Las Vegas this season. The best ones for visitors are the freebies addressed in this column’s lead. For a complete list and details, go to the website listed below.

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