Las Vegas reviews: Station Casino sportsbooks

Jun 19, 2012 |

Station Casinos properties are ubiquitous throughout Las Vegas. They encompass 11 full service hotel-casinos as well as sportsbook outlets at smaller ancillary casinos.

The Station Casinos empire includes top-level luxury destinations such as Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch Resort, hotels for budget-minded visitors such as Texas Station and the Fiesta hotels, and several mid-range properties. A perennial draw for local gamblers, Station hotels also attract tourists looking for a change of pace from the Strip.

The sportsbook

Sportsbook relevance: 8 (on a scale of 1-10)

The sportsbook occupies a prominent spot in virtually all Station Casinos properties and several of the books have undergone renovations in recent years to ensure their amenities remain state-of-the-art. Lively crowds pack the books for big games and major horse racing dates, though the pace slows during down periods on the sports calendar. Industry veteran Art Manteris, the company’s vice president of race and sports operations, oversees the Station Casinos sports book. For his longevity and contributions to the business, Manteris could be a member of a Sports Betting Hall of Fame, if one is ever established.

Service: 8

Station Casinos properties are largely geared toward local gamblers rather than tourists who might visit once or twice a year. This allows sportsbook staff members, from supervisors to ticket writers, to develop more personal relationships with their regular customers. The clientele is generally savvier regarding sports betting than the average Las Vegas tourist, so staff members have to know their stuff. Cocktail service is efficient and downright neighborly, another reflection of the locals-oriented nature of the casinos. The selection of beer and liquor is quite limited compared with the cocktail menu at more extravagant Las Vegas resorts, though.

Ambiance 8

With a wide variety of sportsbooks at more than a dozen separate properties, Station Casinos offers something for every sports bettor. The well-appointed books at Red Rock Resort and Green Valley Ranch Resort rank among the best places anywhere to watch a sporting event, easily holding their own or even surpassing the more famous luxury resorts on the Strip. Giant-screen TVs, dozens of individual monitors, the latest betting technology and plush VIP seating areas are all par for the course.

For sports bettors who just want to run in, cash their tickets, make a few wagers and get on with their day, some Station Casinos books are among the most convenient in the entire city. For example, Palace Station has several parking spaces with 15-minute time limits located approximately a 30-second walk from the sportsbook counter. The historic El Cortez downtown, which has a Station sportsbook, can even beat that: A designated “loading zone” on North 6th Street allows you to park for 15 minutes. It’s about a 12-second walk to the sportsbook counter. The Fiesta Rancho, another Station property, features a unique drive-through sportsbook betting window, allowing you to make wagers from your car.

The typical game-day crowd is made up of locals young (21+) and old, with some tourists mixed in. It’s common to hear rowdy cheering and shouting as the games progress, and it’s a good bet you’ll see plenty of jerseys and caps sporting team logos. A popular promotion features $1 beer and hot dogs for fans in the book.

Betting options 9

The sports wagering menu is deep and comprehensive at Station Casinos properties, featuring odds on all major U.S. sports as well as soccer, tennis, golf and more. Fair odds on boxing matches worldwide are always available, including round propositions on most major fights. Odds and propositions on NASCAR and other auto racing circuits are offered, with head-to-head driver matchups a house specialty. Future-book wagering is available on most sports, though the odds on those are unexceptional. You’ll often do better on futures by shopping around at other sportsbook operations.

Station Casinos books are especially strong in the area of sports-betting contests, however. Affordable contests focusing on football season, the NCAA tournament and other events give entrants the opportunity to make a nice score for a relatively small investment. Again, these are aimed primarily at local residents, although anyone is welcome to play.

Betting limits vary by sport, typically ranging from $500 or $1,000 on offbeat proposition wagers to five figures on major sports such as football.

The property

Boys weekend 7

If you’re visiting with your homies and looking for a strong pool scene, you cannot go wrong with Green Valley Ranch Resort. Located in Henderson, about 12 miles southeast of the center Strip, GVR features a world-class sand-bottom pool surrounded by stunning desert scenery. Cabana service, food specials and even bottle service are available.

Meanwhile, Palace Station often gets a bad rap because it’s an older, generally no-frills property, but its lowly reputation is unwarranted. The hotel rooms and amenities are perfectly fine and considering its good location near the Strip, it could be an ideal destination for bargain-hunters who basically just need a place to crash after their night of partying in Las Vegas. Plus, the outstanding Las Vegas Oyster Bar at Palace Station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Girlfriend/wife weekend 7

If you’re planning a romantic getaway, consider Red Rock Resort with its expansive pool area, great dining and stylish spa. Located in Summerlin, about 16 miles west of the center Strip, Red Rock features a wide selection of fine restaurants including Hachi for elegant Japanese dishes, Terra Rossa for house-made Italian fare and T-Bones Chophouse & Lounge for prime steaks and fresh seafood.

The spa at Red Rock offers a full range of reasonably priced services including massage, body treatments, aromatherapy, facials and more. Couples packages are available. Spa discounts are regularly offered for members of the military and local Las Vegas residents.

Red Rock’s hotel rooms and suites include plasma TVs, 320-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens and fixtures made from fine woods, crystal and marble. Many rooms have views of the Strip lights or the nearby spectacular mountains and canyons west of the city limits.

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