Las Vegas sportsbook review: The Mirage
A world-renowned luxury hotel and gaming destination, the Mirage Resort and Casino is located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, between Spring Mountain Road and Flamingo Road. The hotel contains more than 3,000 rooms and suites, with the casino featuring more than 100 table games and about 2,000 slot machines. Special features include a spectacular rainforest-themed atrium inside the front entrance and a huge, colorful saltwater aquarium behind the front desk.
Sportsbook relevance: 9.5 on a scale of 1-10
The Mirage opened in 1989, when big “megabooks” were still en vogue in Las Vegas. That emphasis on race and sports betting is reflected in the ample size, impressive layout and good location of the book. The combined race book and sportsbook area encompasses approximately 10,000 square feet, making it one of the largest in Nevada.
As with many books, the size of the crowd varies depending on what’s happening on the sports calendar.
The Mirage is an MGM Resorts International book, with Vice President of Race and Sports Jay Rood at the helm.
I haven’t been crazy about the service with the sportsbook staff. Too often, after I state my intended bet, they glare, turn away without a word and go off to huddle with a supervisor. Guess I’m a scary guy.
It’s doubtful you’ll encounter a table-games dealer as dastardly as the one memorably played by Wallace Shawn in “Vegas Vacation,” the 1997 Chevy Chase vehicle filmed in part at the Mirage.
Cocktail servers are pleasant and attentive.
With its high ceilings and contemporary décor, the Mirage sportsbook has a comfortable, wide-open and airy feel. An expansive electronic odds board and multiple big-screen TVs offering superb sightlines are more than enough to keep you engaged in the action. Restrooms are just off the floor of the book on the horse racing side.
Tourists and avid sports fans make up much of the crowd, which is no surprise given the casino’s location in the middle of the city’s resort corridor. The horse racing crowd skews a bit older, while the sports bettors tend to be a younger, mostly well-heeled crew.
The book gets plenty of foot traffic thanks in part to its favorable location near the poker room, a sports bar on the casino floor and a popular California Pizza Kitchen outlet. It’s also an easy walk to the resort’s south exit to the Strip.
Expect an overflow crowd for major horse races and other sporting events but plenty of breathing room on slow to average sports days. Overnight, it’s not uncommon to see a worn-out gambler trying to sleep in one of the book’s comfortable chairs before a security guard comes along and rousts him.
Betting options: 8
The Mirage sportsbook offers a full range of sports betting options including pro and college football, NBA and college basketball, baseball and smaller betting sports such as hockey, auto racing, WNBA, golf, tennis, boxing and mixed martial arts, among other events. Straight bets and totals are available along with moneylines, teasers, futures, over/unders on season wins by individual teams and a decent selection of special propositions. The MGM Resorts International sportsbooks, including the Mirage, are among the few places that offer exact-round props on many major fights.
Limits vary tremendously. I’ve asked for $770 on fairly obscure sports wager only to be granted just $550 of action after one of those aforementioned huddles with a supervisor. On the other hand, I’ve seen them accept $33,000 on a single bet without blinking an eye. (Of course, that was on an NFL game at a widely available point spread.)
Boys weekend: 8.5
Thanks largely to its great amenities and excellent location amid all the action of the Strip, the Mirage is an ideal choice for a weekend with the homies. The pool scene is lively with an energetic atmosphere and visually striking waterfalls. Bathing suits are de rigueur as attire at the Dolphin Bar, the perfect spot for daytime cocktails. The sports bar by the sportsbook serves as a solid starter bar for drinks early in the night. Later in the evening, Revolution, a so-called “ultra lounge,” is your destination for cutting-edge dance music as well as Beatles songs in a nod to “Love,” the Beatles production show by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage.
The Mirage buffet, called Cravings, is well worth a visit for any meal. It’s only a shade below the excellent buffets at Bellagio and Wynn in terms of quality. BLT Burger and the Carnegie Delicatessen have tasty fare but are overpriced.
Girlfriend/wife weekend: 9
The Mirage ranks among the best options for a romantic Vegas getaway. Hotel rooms have an upscale feel and many offer nice views of the pool complex or the mountains that surround Las Vegas. In addition to the regular pool area, which is one of the most attractive in Las Vegas, the Bare pool lounge for adults 21 and older offers optional topless sunbathing for women in a secluded area. A full-service spa and salon is onsite.
Several fine-dining restaurants are available, including Japonais, Stack, Fin and Onda, all of which are fit for special occasions.
The erupting volcano attraction in front of the resort, long considered one of the most iconic spectacles in Las Vegas, is still fun after all these years. Some people are fans of the volcano in a nostalgic, kitschy way — kind of like the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. You can’t beat the price (free).