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Reason I like Bovada #2:

Good Odds

Bovada online casino ad

The odds are always against you when you gamble, so it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds. I spent some time looking for an online casino with good odds, and I found it in Bovada. Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

It's disappointing that most online casinos are greedy when setting the odds on their games. They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong. Most gamblers eventually gamble away all their playing budget anyway. They're going to lose the same amount of money no matter what, the only question is how long it takes them to do so. And when they play at a tight casino and lose quickly, they're less likely to return.

A casino which offers good odds will make just as much money as a tight casino, because the players will usually gamble away whatever they deposit anyway, no matter what the odds. The only difference is that with better odds, they'll get to play longer before they go bust. And that means they had more fun in the process, and they're more likely to return.

Bovada is one of they few casinos that understands this. They offer games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer. Among their offerings are:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

You don't have to play at Bovada, but wherever you play, make sure they offer odds at least this good!

All in all, I think Bovada is the best bet for U.S. players.

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Gambling problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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Gambling Problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling

Las Vegas News

I don't have the resources to cover a lot of Vegas news,  but I'll try to post some special items here when I can find the time.  I do have a page specifically about casino news.


Free drinks to end for low-rollers?

  August 2017

The most famous comp and the easiest one to get has always been free drinks.  You play any game, even penny slots, and the cocktail waitress will bring you as much as you can pack away, one drink at a time.  Well, as of Oct. 2016, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts (which collectively own most of the casinos on the strip) are experimenting with rigging the machines to make sure you're betting enough before they serve you (either by having a light come on to show that you've earned a drink, or else printing out a voucher for a free one).  But I'm skeptical that this will be the end of free drinks for low-rollers.  First of all, most gamblers have earned their free drinks, and the casinos would probably spend more time and money trying to deny free drinks to those few who don't "deserve" them rather than just giving drinks to everyone like they always have.  Second, the cocktail waitresses are the gatekeepers: they earn their living from tips, and couldn't give a flying flip whether you "deserve" your drink as long as you're tipping.  I'm confident that if you wave a dollar around you'll get your first drink, and as long as you tip at least a dollar every other drink they'll keep coming.  Oh, you wonder whether the waitresses would get in trouble for that?  Well, that would require someone supervising them closely to make sure they don't give out drinks to the few patrons who haven't "earned" them.  The labor cost of such supervision would dwarf the cost of just giving free drinks to all.  So, I don't think the waitresses are gonna have managers scrutinizing their every move; it's just too expensive.

The Harmon Hotel to be dismantled before it even opens!

  Summer 2014

Here's a unique one:  Due to construction defects, a new hotel is being dismantled piece by piece before it even opens!  MGM Resorts started construction on The Harmon Hotel in 2007, at the time reported to be the largest private real estate development in U.S. history.  But in 2008 an engineer and county inspectors found faulty installation of structural steel reinforcements after about half of the 49 stories had been built.  The construction defects meant that the building would likely come down in the event of an earthquake or even possibly very strong winds.  As a result, MGM had the structure completely disassembled.  Only in Vegas.  Wikipedia

Trivia: Naughty Sushi

  August 2011

The next time you're in NY NY, take a picture of the "Chin Chin" sushi/Chinese restaurant on the gaming floor.  Because unbeknownst to just about everyone, "Chin Chin" is the child's word for "penis" in Japanese.  (It's the equivalent of "peepee".)  They named the place after a Chinese word but since they also serve Japanese sushi, the naming is kind of funny.  Now you're one of the only people in on the secret!

Woman wins $2.9 million jackpot -- and keeps playing

 December 2010

With some interesting irony, a woman named Dorothy won the Wizard of Oz slot jackpot at Planet Hollywood recently.   And within minutes she immediately went back to playing slots.  This isn't a rare occurrence -- big jackpot winners often start playing again right after winning.  That makes me wonder, why were they playing in the first place?  Wasn't it to win the big jackpot?  If so, then congratulations, mission accomplished.  You can stop playing now.  Why keep going?  What's the point?

What's new in Vegas since 2008

 November 2010

Has it been a while since you were in Vegas last?  Here's what's happened in the last three years:

  1. There's now a Strip & Downtown Express bus (SDX).  It's much faster than the Deuce, since it makes only a few stops on the strip.  It also goes to the Convention Center, unlike the Deuce.  See more on our Getting around Vegas page.

  2. Bus fares are way up.  A 24-hour Deuce or SDX pass is now $7, up from $5.  The good news is that the pass can be used on both the Deuce and SDX, and any bus in town actually.  The other price hike is that there's no longer a single-trip fare for the strip buses.  The cheapest you can go is $5 for a two-hour pass.

  3. City Center & Palazzo.  City Center is the new complex next to the Monte Carlo, featuring various hotels, one hotel/casino (Aria), and an upscale shopping mall (Crystals).  Personally I think it adds nothing special, and it makes walking the strip way more cumbersome now that you have to detour up and over various walkways.  Palazzo is a little sister hotel/casino to the Venetian, much like Encore is to the Wynn.

  4. New Rides.  The Stratosphere now has the SkyJump, which lets you literally jump off the tower, skydiving 100+ floors to the ground.  (There's no parachute; you're gliding along guide wires which have a braking system built in.)  But it's pricey at $100 a jump.  Cheaper is the new zip line downtown at the Fremont Street Experience, which for $15 to $20 lets you sail straight down Fremont Street.  (See more on our rides page.)

  5. Dancing girls at the table games.  It seems like most Strip casinos now have at least one pit which feature scantily-clad women doing pole dances.  The dealers are usually scantily-clad as well.

Vegas economy / tourism at an all-time low!

 October 2010<

The Vegas economy has been bad before, but it's nothing like this.  The drop after 9/11 seems like a little blip compared to what Vegas is going through now.  Tourism is down, unemployment is around 15%, and partially-constructed buildings are sitting around half-finished, since the money to complete them has dried up.  Gaming revenues in Nevada dropped 10.4% in 2009, the biggest drop ever.  This follows a 9.7% drop in 2008.  Nevada has the highest unemployment in America, and has led the nation in housing foreclosures for the last four years.

But this is actually good news for tourists.  It means there's never been a better time to visit Vegas.  Room rates have hit rock bottom, and lines for everything are much shorter.  Rooms can be had on the Strip mid-week for as little as $24 these days.  See for yourself:

Las Vegas Hotel Search

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See more about the Vegas economy crash at the New York Times.


Vegas performer Danny Gans passes away

  May 2009

Longtime Vegas comic Danny Gans died at age 52 from the combination of drug toxicity and a pre-existing heart condition.

Six workers die during construction of CityCenter

  June 2008

Six construction workers died on the job while building the CityCenter complex.  Workers demanded safety training and safer working conditions, the company refused, so the workers went on strike, and then the company finally relented.  Meanwhile, MGM Mirage blames the deaths on the workers, saying they weren't following safety protocols. (Las Vegas Sun)