Watching football in Las Vegas isn’t as always as easy as sitting down in a sportsbook to watch the games. The simple reason is demand.
Las Vegas sportsbooks, bars and restaurants are busiest on Saturday and Sundays with fans and bettors watching the games. Demand for a seat is so great that the most popular venues sometimes require a reservation.
Sometimes reserving a seat covers just a place to chair to watch the games. There are times when the reservation comes with drink tickets and more.
Restaurants and sportsbooks may allow the guest(s) to use the reservation fee as a “minimum spend” towards food and drink while in the venue. Of course, the guests can spend as much as they want but the “minimum spend” is required.
My friends and I have never had a problem exceeding a minimum spend if that’s a concern. The prices for food and drink for three hours make it so that it’s nearly impossible not to reach the minimum.
Not everyone has to pay to watch football games in Las Vegas. Many casinos throughout the Las Vegas valley still have some complimentary general admission seats available.
How to get complimentary seats at Las Vegas sportsbooks
More money is wagered on football than any other sport in Nevada for at least 30 years, according to UNLV Center For Gaming Research data.
Finding a seat in a Las Vegas sportsbook to watch a game is rarely a problem…unless there are football games taking place.
Most Las Vegas sportsbooks have some general admission seats available during football games. However, seating is limited at all sportsbooks during football games.
Most tourists stay on the Vegas Strip when visiting Las Vegas. As one might imagine this is where sportsbook seats are most in demand.
Vegas Strip casinos will frequently reserve seats for big players or those willing to pay to hold a seat.
General admission seats in sportsbooks are first-come-first-served. Sometimes all seats in a sportsbook are complimentary. Other times the sportsbook is so small that all seats are reserved.
Arriving early is the first key to getting a complimentary seat in any sportsbook for football games. As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Just don’t expect to find anything after the game’s kick-off.
The location of the casino might be the most important thing to consider. Tourists often don’t have transportation so they stay to watch the games nearby.
Many of these visitors would rather pay to reserve a seat than wake up early or pay to travel elsewhere for a complimentary seat.
Look to off-strip casinos for the best possibility of finding a complimentary seat. Here are some options of casinos where visitors can find a complimentary seat in the sportsbook during football games.
- Gold Coast
- Green Valley Ranch
- Red Rock
- South Point
There are others but these sportsbooks have ample general admission seats. Some also have reserved seating for larger groups.
Tips on reserving a Las Vegas sportsbook seat
The most popular casinos often have a reservation fee for anyone that wants to sit in the sportsbook. Again, that’s just simple supply and demand.
Some of the fees are just for a seat. There are also casinos that include drink tickets and/or food with the reservation fee.
Most of the casinos charging sportsbook reservation fees are located on the Vegas Strip. There are also some properties away from the main tourist corridor that have seats available for reservations.
Most of the seats at the newest and largest sportsbook at Circa come with a reservation fee. This is one of the sportsbooks that offer all-you-can-eat and drink with the expense.
Circa guests should make sure they’re hungry and/or thirsty to get the most bang for the buck. Again, it’s easy to make this a positive value with food and drink prices in Las Vegas.
All Caesars Las Vegas casinos have an online sportsbook reservation portal. MGM Resorts casinos each have a phone number listed on each website for anyone looking to reserve a seat or seats in its sportsbooks.
Bars and restaurants at Vegas Strip casinos are another viewing option since the sportsbooks are often overflowing for football. Reservations are recommended and sometimes required.
There may or may not be a minimum spend required for bars and restaurants. Policies can change by the week so reach out to the specific bar/restaurant to find out.
Lastly, large groups should look to reserve a booth or table. Even if seats are available in a sportsbook or bar/restaurant, one person arriving early to hold seats may not work. Early birds are often aggressive looking for a free seat and the lack of a body in a chair could be an issue.
Signing up for an online sports betting app for the first time
Signing up for a Nevada sports betting app isn’t difficult but it’s different than elsewhere in the US and takes a little time.
Nevada still requires that every new mobile sports betting account is set up in person at a retail sportsbook inside of a casino.
Since Nevada sports betting accounts are separate from those in other states, users will have to sign up for an app specifically to use in Nevada. The following sportsbook operators have different sports betting apps in Las Vegas than other states they operate:
- William Hill
Apps from these sportsbooks from other states will not work in Nevada. The signup process should take about 10-15 minutes. All that’s needed to sign up is:
- Casino rewards card
- Official ID (driver’s license)
- Money to deposit
Each sportsbook operator will have a small worksheet to fill out with personal information.
Signing up for a sports betting account might take longer when busy like during a full day of college and pro football. The most efficient use of time is to register for an account a day or two before the games.
Anyone with an existing account can fund through the app or in person at the corresponding sportsbook inside of a casino.
Nevada sports betting menus are much more limited
Nevada sportsbook apps have smaller betting menus than other states. This includes companies like BetMGM and Caesars that operate elsewhere. These sports betting apps offer a much smaller betting menu in Nevada than elsewhere.
Be prepared to have fewer wagering options when using a Nevada sports betting app. It can be a bit surprising for anyone used to sports betting apps in other states.
While the apps have larger menus than previous years, they don’t offer the wide array of live and prop bets offered elsewhere.
Newer wagers like Single Game Parlays are not offered in Nevada yet. That will change when Caesars changes to a new app later this year.
FanDuel could offer this next year when its retail-only sportsbook opens at the Fremont Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas.
Which sports betting app to choose
Which Nevada sports betting app to use is based on individual preferences. Even though money can remain in an account when it’s inactive, many visitors like cashing out when they leave Las Vegas.
When cashing out quickly and easily is the preference, players might prefer a sports betting app from their home casino or somewhere nearby.
Caesars and MGM operate nearly 20 casinos on the Vegas Strip. There are also multiple William Hill sportsbooks on and near the Vegas Strip.
Anyone staying at one of these casinos might want to use the corresponding app if they want to cash out quickly. While convenient, these sportsbook apps may not offer the best odds and betting menus.
Leaving the Vegas Strip to visit a casino downtown or off-strip might take about 30-45 minutes. This can be important in planning a trip as traveling to open an account and cash out could take an hour or longer.
Anyone without transportation should also include the cost of travel when choosing an app. A low-roller might not want to spend $20-$50 each way with a cab or rideshare to sign up for an app and cash out.
Having said that, off-strip casinos might offer some of the best sports betting apps as it relates to betting menus and odds. Of course, anyone staying at one of the off-strip casinos can easily remove funds from the account from the sportsbook.
If there’s time, having multiple sports betting apps is a great choice for those who want the widest array of sports betting opportunities and odds.