Top 10 Vegas sportsbooks

TOP-10 LAS VEGAS SPORTS BOOKS July 26, 2004 - Fezzik

Last week, Fezzik gave us numbers 11-20 of his top Las Vegas sports books. This week, he gives us his top 10. Which book will be No.1? You might be surprised
10. Hard Rock

Jamie Shea does a great job running this book. It has a hip environment and has just been remodeled. In addition, the games aren't the only thing to watch at the Hard Rock.

  1. Golden Nugget

The Nugget is the best place to stay and play downtown. The book takes surprisingly high limits and isn't afraid to let you gamble.

  1. Casino Monte Lago

If you haven't been out to Lake Las Vegas yet, it is worth the drive. The area is a great place to spend a day, and the sports book is awesome. It has plasma screens and pricing specials, including select minus $1.05 football vigorish.

  1. Rampart Casino

Yes, another sleeper! This book in Summerlin is very nice, with surprisingly high limits. You will feel like you are at a Ritz Carlton. Want to get away from the noise and stress of the Strip? Head up to Summerlin and play some golf at Angel Park or Badlands. Then kick back at this resort sports book.

  1. The Mirage

You simply cannot beat the sports book at the Mirage for its layout and excitement. Bet the games, soak in the excitement, and then kick back at California Pizza Kitchen while watching the Hawaii game late Saturday night.

  1. Stardust

The 'Dust is a great throwback to old Las Vegas with plenty of 'wise' guys calling it their main book. Check out The Stardust Line radio show held weekdays at the book. During the weekend, the radio show is on late at night. The best presentation occurs from 9-10 p.m. Friday nights during football season when two of 16 competitors compete each week in a single elimination tourney.

  1. Coast Properties

The other properties may have the glitz, but the Coast is the one property that has the most gamble. Want to make a big bet? The Coast will take it, and you don't need to be staying in their hotel, have a double-diamond card, or clearly be a losing bettor. Also, in sports, the Coast simply does not sweat winners. Places like Station Casinos may advertise that they love winners. However, what the Station promises, the Coast delivers. Win a bundle, and they will shake your hand.

  1. Caesars Palace

Everyone should spend at least one NCAA tournament during opening weekend at Caesars just taking in the games and the environment. The book can get very crowded, but it's all worth it once you have a seat looking at the big screens. Be assured that if you want to make a substantial bet on a game, your action will be welcomed.

  1. Mandalay Bay

This book makes its own lines and it is willing to take large action, often higher than the big boys down the street. The book is awesome looking and the clientele is top-notch. Make some money and then take in dinner at Red Square, Lupos, or gorge yourself at the Rum Jungle.

  1. Las Vegas Hilton

The Super Book has never lived up to its billing in the past, but all that is about to change. New sports book director Jay Kornegay is a visionary, and he is leading the charge to make the Hilton the place to play in Las Vegas.

The Hilton is currently putting in a new electronic betting board, along with many other upgrades. It is pouring out product, with selections already including college and NFL games of the year. The Hilton will once again host the premier open NFL Handicapping Contest, with a $1,500 entry fee per participant. There are even rumors they may offer minus $1.05 vigorish all day Thursday on NFL sides.

The sports book has easy access, with parking in the back lot off Swenson. For those without a car, the new Vegas monorail will take you there as well.

Some may say that Vegas sports books are on the decline due to all the offshore betting. Despite this, I still see a healthy environment where many of the books are reinventing themselves and upgrading. The Hilton has moved to set the bar higher, adding to the competition among Las Vegas sports books.

I see a better future ahead, with handle and excitement increasing as select books take the Hilton's lead by offering more product, higher limits and more upgrades.

Fezzik is a professional gambler who can be reached at