Watching and wagering on football games has changed a lot over the years. That continues this year as the Las Vegas Raiders play their first season in Sin City. It might seem counterintuitive with the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are more ways to watch football in Las Vegas than ever.
Nevada sports betting changed when mobile wagering first started in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago. The ability to wager on games from anywhere in Nevada means that gamblers no longer have to sit in a sportsbook all day — not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s nothing like the excitement of being in a large sportsbook full of people cheering on their favorite teams and wagers.
For almost 10 years, football fans have been able to place a wager anywhere a mobile device can get a signal in Nevada. This means a bet can be placed from a seat without waiting in line at the sportsbook. At the same time, someone can place a football bet while hiking at Red Rock Canyon, shopping, hanging out at the pool or brunching with the crew.
In addition to football fans being able to place wagers from anywhere, they’re now being catered to by more bars and restaurants now that Vegas has its very own (long-awaited) NFL team. Since Las Vegas is a transient city, there are unofficial football team bars all around Las Vegas. But especially now, it seems like every bar has a little extra love for silver and black.
Restaurants are always looking for new ways to attract customers. Over the years, they’ve been able draw football fans with a few TVs. As more venues in Las Vegas started to have multiple TVs, some restaurants and bars have taken on a new strategy, with more drink and dining specials.
The Raiders won yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs and will next square off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 25, giving you plenty of time to plot your next game-watching destination.
Las Vegas Raiders bars
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, there are numerous “Raiders bars” for those who prefer to watch the games with other fans of the silver and black. But one bar stands above and beyond the rest — and it’s right in the middle of the Strip resort corridor.
Stage Door Casino is located about 150 steps away from the Strip on Flamingo Avenue. The name is sort of a misnomer, as this isn’t the typical Vegas Strip casino. Stage Door is a liquor and convenience store with a bar and slot/video poker games. This kind of casino can be found around Las Vegas, but there aren’t many this close to the Strip.
The location is what helps the Stage Door stand out as a Raiders bar. This isn’t a bar geared only to Las Vegas locals. The majority of tourists from California and around the world usually stay on the Vegas Strip. Stage Door offers a fantastic mix of Raiders fans from all over. Throw in cheap booze, and you have a bar with some of the loudest Raiders fans in Las Vegas.
Brunch has become a Sunday late morning/early afternoon staple around the country. This used to be difficult for football fans, as most restaurants don’t show the games on TV while serving a combination of breakfast and lunch foods. Now that the Raiders are in town, there are at least two football brunch locations near the Vegas Strip.
Pub 365 at Tuscany Casino and Front Yard at Ellis Island both have football brunches for NFL games. The two casinos are a short walk (5 minutes) and shorter rideshare (2 minutes) from the Strip, east of Las Vegas Boulevard. The bar and restaurant at each property offer brunch for large groups along with plenty of TVs showing football games.
Much like Stage Door, their location makes these casinos an option for Raiders fans from Las Vegas and beyond. Both casinos have William Hill sportsbooks, but next year, Circa Sports will take over at Tuscany.
There might not be a better way to spend a Sunday than chowing down on a massive brunch while watching all of the football games. If you want to get really ambitious and feel like bar hopping, Stage Door, Tuscany Casino and Ellis Island are all within a half mile or so walking distance from each other.
Las Vegas sportsbooks still rule
BetMGM is an official sports betting partner of the Raiders. The BetMGM sportsbook at Mandalay Bay is the closest to Allegiant Stadium, where the Las Vegas Raiders play their home games. During normal times, this would be the sportsbook of choice for many Raiders fans since it’s so close to the games. Unfortunately, these aren’t normal times.
In time, there should be special promotions featuring Raiders players, swag, drink specials and more. Things are a little muted given the pandemic, with less tourism to Las Vegas and fans less likely to pack into a sportsbook like sardines. Even still, it’s a great place to watch the games on the Vegas Strip. MGM Resorts upgraded the screens last year. The large space is darker than most of the casino, and the screens really pop.
Other Las Vegas sportsbooks still provide a normal-ish experience for football games. The cheering is slightly more hollow, socially distanced seating doesn’t allow for as many fans and face coverings muffle some of the cheers, but it’s all better than nothing.
The Westgate SuperBook still has sharp lines and remains one of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas. When Circa Resort and Casino opens on Oct. 28, it will have the largest viewing screen of any sportsbook. There will also be hundreds of stadium seats across three levels. Additionally, Stadium Swim will show the games outside on a massive video screen on the pool deck for those who prefer fresh air.
Las Vegas Raiders Tailgate Zone at Allegiant Stadium
The Las Vegas Raiders currently aren’t letting fans into Allegiant Stadium to watch the games in person due to the pandemic. Fans swarmed the stadium parking lot during the Raiders’ first home game just to be near the action for the historic moment. Many brought their own TVs so they could watch with other fanatics.
The Las Vegas Raiders Tailgate Zone takes place in the Allegiant Stadium parking lot. The team has a large video screen on which carloads of fans can watch the game while being socially distanced from others.
Guests (up to five per vehicle) have access to two parking spaces. One space is for the vehicle. The other is for tailgating or can be left empty. The $400 fee for the car includes a food and beverage package. VIP tickets are $500 and allow the fans a guaranteed space close to the screen.
This isn’t optimal, but it’s a way to watch the game outdoors with other Raiders fans until we can all go to games in person.