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Reason #1 I like Bovada:

Play for free
with no hassles

Most online casinos annoy the hell out of me. They insult you with popup windows and spam, and do everything they can to separate you from your money. Even if you want to just play with fake money for free, they make you register for an account so they can pester you by email trying to get you to deposit real money.

On the whole Internet, I found exactly one online casino that's different: Bovada. You can play their games for free, with absolutely no hassles. And that's the main reason why I promote them exclusively.

Here's what I mean by no hassles:

  • Completely free. It's not one of those "Buy 1 get 1 free" kind of deals, it's absolutely free. You can click over and start playing with fake money right away, with no cash out of pocket. Here, go ahead and try it.
  • No registration required. Most casinos let you play for free, but there's a catch: They make you register an account first. That's not just a hassle: after you do it you can expect them to badger you by email trying to get you to deposit real money. But Bovada lets you play right away with no registration required. One click and you're in. Honest. Here, try it.
  • Plays right in your browser. If you'd rather not download the casino software to your hard disk, you don't have to. The games play right in your web browser. Nice.
  • Works on Macs. The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible! Before Bovada, Mac users were pretty much out of luck for gambling online. Not any more.
  • No popups. I'll never understand why companies think it's a good idea to annoy their visitors, but that's standard practice at most online casinos. Bovada is one of the rare exceptions -- no popups, no popouts, no browser hijacking, just the website with no B.S.

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

Visit Bovada


Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.
Play these
free slots now

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Las Vegas Casino Ownership

Last Update: March 2018.


Who owns Mandalay Bay?  Answer:  MGM Resorts.

See below for a complete list of their Vegas properties.


If you thought most casinos in Vegas were independently owned, think again.  There's a staggering amount of consolidation in Vegas casino ownership.  In fact, just two companies together own the overwhelming majority of strip properties.  So, if you have a bad experience at one casino and think, "Huh!  I'll just take my business across the street!", there's a good chance the new casino you walk into will be owned by the very same company!


This page lists the biggest casino groups, the ones that each own several casinos.  I generally don't include companies that own just 1-3 casinos.  For a comprehensive rundown of casino ownership, see Nick Christenson's excellent list.


The Strip

A whopping 19 of the 29 strip casinos are owned by just two companies. Bye-bye, competition!

MGM Resorts

  1. Aria
  2. Bellagio
  3. Circus Circus
  4. Excalibur
  5. Luxor
  6. Mandalay Bay
  7. MGM Grand
  8. The Mirage
  9. Monte Carlo
  10. New York New York

In 2005 the MGM & Mandalay companies merged, creating the largest gaming company in the world at that time, with 28 properties in five states, annual revenues of $6 billion, and control of 40% of the slots, 44% of the table games, and 36,000 of the 73,000 rooms on the Las Vegas Strip.

Treasure Island used to be part of this group, but MGM Mirage sold it to Phil Ruffin in March 2009.

Cosmpolitan, next to Aria, is actually not part of MGM's CityCenter, and is in fact owned by Deutsche Bank.

 

Caesar's Entertainment

  1. Bally's
  2. Caesars Palace
  3. The Cromwell
  4. Flamingo
  5. Harrah's
  6. Linq / O'Sheas
  7. Paris
  8. Planet Hollywood
  9. Rio
  10. Harrah's (Laughlin)

The 2005 merger between Caesars & Harrah's surpassed MGM/Mandalay to create the largest gaming company in the world, with 40 properties over 100,000 employees.  The merged company was initially known as Harrah's Entertainment, then in Nov. 2010 the name changed to Caesar's Entertainment Corp.

Downtown Vegas

Boyd Gaming

  • California
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station

Derek & Greg Stevens

  • The D
  • Las Vegas Club
Individually-owned
Boyd Gaming
Downtown
  • California
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station
Locals Casinos
  • Aliante
  • Gold Coast
  • Orleans
  • Sam's Town
  • Suncoast
Not in Vegas
  • Eldorado (Henderson)
  • Joker's Wild (Henderson)
  • Sam's Town Gold River (Laughlin)

Station Casinos

  • Boulder Station
  • Palace Station
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Sunset Station
  • Texas Station

  • Fiesta Henderson
  • Fiesta Rancho
  • Red Rock Casino
  • Wild Wild West
  • Wildfire
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Barley's
  • The Greens
  • Gold Rush
  • Magic Star
  • Lake Mead
  • Renata's Casino
     
  • Thunder Valley (Lincoln, CA)

Ownership changes

  • Gold Spike, Las Vegas Club, The Plaza, and the Western are sold by Jackie Gaughan to Barrick Gaming for $82 million, along with 35 acres of land and two downtown motels.  Gaughan retains control of the El Cortez. (March 2004)
  • Boyd Gaming and Coast Casinos merged in Feb. 2004 in a deal reportedly worth $1.3 billion. Coast had Barbary Coast, Gold Coast, Orleans, and Suncoast. Boyd had Stardust, Fremont, California, Main St. Station, Sam's Town, Joker's Wild, the Eldorado in Henderson, half of the Borgata in Atlantic City, and casinos in the Midwest and South.

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