Sportsbook review: Bellagio a 'world renowned' experience

Jul 10, 2012 |

A world-renowned resort in the center of the Strip, the Bellagio attracts well-heeled gamblers, business travelers and sophisticated tourists seeking an upscale Las Vegas experience. The Fountains of Bellagio water show in front of the property is perhaps the city’s most iconic attraction. The Bellagio is home to “O,” the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil production. The Conservatory and Botanical Gardens display, free to the public, is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

The Sportsbook

Sportsbook relevance (8 out of 10)

The Bellagio’s plush, well-appointed sportsbook draws plenty of foot traffic thanks in part to its location adjacent to the casino’s lively poker room and the Starting Gate bar, notable for its good selection of microbrews. The book features leather chairs for customers that rate among the most comfortable in Las Vegas. A snack bar, aptly called Snacks, is just next door to the book, offering light fare such as sandwiches, salads and wraps. The Bellagio is an MGM Resorts International sportsbook, with Vice President of Race and Sports Jay Rood at the helm.

Service (10)

The Bellagio sportsbook staff members are professional and capable, but the cocktail servers are primarily responsible for the high rating. This is one of the few sportsbooks in which you can order a generic drink only to have the server ask which brand of liquor you prefer, reeling off a list of top-shelf options to choose from. (Your mileage may vary.) Teetotallers have plenty of choices as well, including excellent Virgin Marys and delicious fruit slushies. Complete concierge services are available for guests, including restaurant and show reservations as well as tee times and specialty services such as flower arrangements.

Ambiance (8)

The Bellagio sportsbook also includes the racebook, with the entire facility covering 5,600 square feet. That’s by no means tiny, but it is significantly smaller than a few of the massive “megabooks” elsewhere in town. The Bellagio sportsbook becomes swarmed with fans, bettors and curiosity seekers during big sporting events, or even on average sports days if the poker room is hopping and the overflow crowd spills into the sportsbook area. Whether the high-energy throng of gamblers jam-packed into the room is exciting and adrenaline-inducing or merely claustrophobic depends on your perspective.

About 200 seats are available, including about 100 with individual betting monitors on the race side, along with 13 jumbo screens and more than three dozen smaller flat-screen TV displays. An electronic odds board is more than adequate in displaying the latest betting lines.

The décor is sleek and elegant, consistent with the rest of the property. Restrooms are clean and convenient, just steps away from the seating area.

The crowd is typically made up of tourists and pure gamblers cheering on their action as opposed to grizzled local sports bettors. You might be asked to show a casino player’s card when cashing a sizeable winning ticket.

Betting options (7)

The sportsbook offers a full range of betting options on pro and college football, pro and college basketball, baseball, hockey and minor sports, along with a decent selection of propositions. Future-book wagering is available, although the odds are among the least attractive in the business. The sportsbook uses a 20-cent line on baseball games, worse for the gambler than the dime-line structure that many Las Vegas books use. The Bellagio sportsbook could stand to improve in these areas. For championship boxing matches, the book is one of the few in town to offer odds on the exact round of a knockout, but again with a theoretical hold percentage that favors the house too heavily.

Limits vary substantially. You can be restricted to $550 on basketball totals, for instance, but established guests with a track record of gambling high at casino table games can expect much larger limits on major sports.

The property

Boys weekend (8)

As long as you are not expecting to do Vegas on the cheap, the Bellagio can be an ideal destination for a weekend with your homies. The resort’s understated yet elegant pool complex contains five separate courtyards, with private cabanas, trendy cocktails and poolside dining available. The pool area is quite popular with hotel guests and can feel overly crowded at times.

The Bellagio offers a superb selection of bars and lounges for “pre-gaming,” nightcaps and everything in between. Visit the Baccarat Bar for martinis, cigars and live jazz piano. Try the Petrossian Bar for house-specialty cocktails and upscale grub like caviar and smoked salmon. Dress to impress at The Bank nightclub, one of the city’s leading nightlife destinations.

Open for dinner until 2 a.m., the Asian restaurant Noodles is a popular choice among poker players taking a break from the tables and others looking for a great late-night meal.

Girlfriend/wife weekend (10)

“Upscale” and “luxurious” are the pertinent descriptive terms for a romantic weekend at the Bellagio. The French restaurant Le Cirque and Picasso, specializing in fine French and Spanish cuisine, have been honored with the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award. Other onsite gourmet restaurants such as Jasmine, Michael Mina and Prime Steakhouse are equally strong choices to celebrate an important anniversary or to impress someone special.

Luxury shopping options at the Bellagio are second to none in Las Vegas, with world-class brands and designers including Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Prada and Tiffany appealing to the most sophisticated clientele.

The Bellagio has earned the AAA Five Diamond Award for 12 consecutive years, a reflection of the exceptionally high quality of the resort’s rooms and suites. The property’s opulent, 65,000-square foot spa ranks among the best in the field, but you can expect the prices to put a dent in your gambling bankroll.

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