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Best of Gary Trask

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The ultimate March Madness in Las Vegas viewing party guide

3 March 2017

Spring Break, St. Patrick's Day and March Madness.

All three events collide in two weeks in Las Vegas, bringing millions of people to the area for four days of self-indulged debauchery.

Talk about a perfect storm.

Take it from someone who was in Las Vegas last year when this very same trifecta hit the city. As you can imagine, it's absolute mayhem.

Since this is a column dedicated to gambling and those who enjoy playing games of chance, we'll stick to the March Madness part of the equation. The first four days of the NCAA men's basketball tournament are custom-made for watching and betting on the games in Las Vegas. The action is nonstop, fast and furious.

And, as you will see below, there are an abundance of options for taking in the games. It doesn't matter whether you're a diehard college hoop fan (and bettor) and simply need to be in a sportsbook, or you're more of a casual fan who will fill out a single $5 bracket and just want to watch the games casually, there is something for you in the choices below. Just be sure to plan ahead, pace yourself and hydrate.

Finally, before getting to the parties, here are three articles that may be helpful to you before landing at McCarran and kicking off your four-day bender, especially if you are a Las Vegas rookie, or novice sports bettor:Now, onto the March Madness viewing parties, starting on the north end of The Strip, and finishing up downtown on Fremont Street.

On The Strip

Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
Hoops Central

There's a reason why the sportsbook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is called the SuperBook. It's gigantic in so many ways, and it has become one of my all-time favorite venues to watch and wager on sports.

Former NBA star and college hoop legend Thurl Bailey and former Mayor Oscar Goodman will be on hand to kick off the March Madness festivities with viewing options in a variety of locations:

    Westgate Sportsbook

    Westgate Sportsbook

  • Hoops in the International Theater – Watch all the games on giant HD screens in a smoke-free environment with more than 1,500 seats, satellite betting stations, appearances from the Bud Light Girls, and daily giveaways and food and drink specials. Bailey and Goodman will be available for autographs and photos throughout the morning on 16 March. Doors open at 8 a.m. and general seating is first-come, first-served. Reserved seating is available for $25 a day and includes a free beer.

  • Hoops in the Race & Sports SuperBook – All guests who sign up for the Westgate SuperBook Mobile App with a $100 deposit, will be entered to win one of the daily VIP Experiences throughout the Mayhem Season, including an exclusive SuperBook VIP Box for one day for up to four people and $500 in food and drinks.

    The entirety of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament can be viewed on the 4,488 square foot HD video screens inside the 25,000 square foot venue. Guests can watch the action from one of 25 ballroom chairs inside the Hall of Fame Room, or in luxury from one of 16 SuperBook VIP Boxes, which featuring plush couch seating for up to eight people, access to VIP servers and prime views of the world’s largest indoor LED video wall. A $2,500 food and beverage minimum is required.

    Also, the elongated SuperBook Bar is an excellent spot to watch the games if you can get a seat (I got there at 6:15 a.m. last year to get a prime seat for Thursday's games) will also offer $7 food and $4 drink specials.

SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Umami Burger and Foxtail Pool

SLS Las Vegas, which sits on the former home of Sahara Hotel & Casino, is offering a couple of different options:

  • Starting at 9 a.m., Umami Burger, Beer Garden & Sports Book will have the games on more than 50 TVs and a giant video. Open bar tickets start at $50 per person, and table packages with an open bar ticket and food credit are available from $100 per person.

  • If you want to take advantage of the weather and soak in some sunshine, there will be a Poolside Viewing Party at Foxtail Pool, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Guests can bask in 23 luxury cabanas, equipped with comfy couches, lounge chairs and large flat screen.

Wynn Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Allegro

The Wynn sportsbook is one of the best on The Strip and is about to get even better when they start a renovation this spring. While it will be difficult to get a seat in the book during March Madness, a great secondary option is the viewing party at Allegro, the resort's casual Italian-American restaurant, which will have multiple TVs. A specialty all-you-can-eat menu is available for $90 per person (excluding tax, gratuity and alcohol) and the regular lunch menu will also be available for those who are not interested in the format.

The Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino and The Venetian Las Vegas
Mercato Della Pescheria

Known for its seafood and Italian entrees, Mercato Della Pescheria, located inside of St. Mark's Square in the Grand Canal Shoppes of Venetian-Palazzo, will be serving $3 Pabst Blue Ribbons and Magic Hat Bottled Beer at the bar while offering Happy Hour pricing as the games are going on, including $6 pepperoni pizzas and $6 martinis.

Treasure Island
Madness in March

It's free to enter the viewing party at Treasure Island Resort & Casino (16-18 March). Doors open at 7:30 a.m. in the nonsmoking TI Ballroom with first-come, first-served banquet table seating. The room will have multiple large screen HD TVs, a cash bar and food concessions.




Caesars Palace
Hoops Viewing Parties

The world-renowned Caesars Palace, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has multiple March Madness options:


  • Reserve your own personal living room or man cave at the new Montecristo Cigar & Whiskey Bar. Games will be featured on a wall-to-wall video screen in the Montecristo Library, while guests can also relax in the ambiance of the courtyard while watching the action on several flatscreen TVs. Library VIP seating starts at $150 for two people and includes a bucket of domestic beer. Four-person Courtyard Man Cave packages include oversized chairs and a large table with a large flatscreen TV located directly in front of you. Reservations are $500 and include two buckets of domestic beer. But, keep in mind, check-in doesn't begin until 1 p.m.

  • Caesars Palace Sportsbook

    Caesars Palace Sportsbook

  • Alto Bar offers unique living room seating and is located steps away from the Caesars Palace Race & Sports Book. Packages start at $500 and include accommodation for four to five people with VIP living room seating, personal TVs and two buckets of domestic beer.

  • Located in the heart of Caesars Palace, VISTA Cocktail Lounge has plush seating, food and beverage minimums starting at $150, and VIP table packages.

  • If you can get a seat, the best place to catch the games at Caesars is the Race & Sportsbook, which has a 20-by-50 foot LED, wall-to-wall video screen, 140 luxurious leather sports seats and March Madness packages starting from $150.

  • The Palm Restaurant of Las Vegas will be showing the games on a huge flat-screen TV in the newly remodeled bar area that is visible from the entire dining room. Guests can sit for free in the bar area as well the restaurant beginning at 9 a.m.

  • At Café Americano, guests can order $30 buckets of Coors Light, Coors Light drafts for $8, 60 oz. pitchers of Coors Light for $25 and food specials like $0.75 wings, $4 sliders, $10 short rib nachos and $7 loaded fries during all games. Guests can enjoy also cornhole, swag and promo girls onsite.

The LINQ Promenade
Virgil's Real Barbecue

The barbecue joint is part of one my new favorite Las Vegas hangouts, The LINQ Promenade, Caesars Entertainment's open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district is also home to the High Roller observation wheel. Virgil's will offer an all-day drinking package for $150 (plus tax and tip) as fans watch the games on multiple big-screen TVs. Guests can also order from the al a carte menu featuring authentic barbecue from the Southern regions. Doors open 30 minutes before each game.

Flamingo Las Vegas
Full Court Packages

The Full Court Packages at The Flamingo are offered 16-18 March. A $149 admission fee includes Miller Lite and Coors Light open bar, all-you-can-eat Time Out Buffet, giant TVs, live betting stations and promotional giveaways with the Miller Lite and Coors Light models.

Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
Man Cave Packages

Packages for parties of eight or more are available at Planet Hollywood on 18 and 19 March and include exclusive living room viewing areas, private high-end buffet, open premium bar, private TVs and betting stations.

PBR Rock Bar and Grill dining room

PBR Rock Bar and Grill dining room

Miracle Mile Shops
Adjacent to Planet Hollywood is the Miracle Mile Shops, and the 1.2-mile retail and entertainment venue is also getting in on the Madness:

  • Cabo Wabo Cantina will offer $21 beer buckets, "shot girls" delivering (what else?) shots, and select beers from the beer tubs on Cabo Wabo's Strip-side patio. Game viewing will also take place in The LOFT and feature games on multiple flat-panel, big-screen TVs including a 200-inch video grid, a 200-inch projection screen and two 80-inch HD TVs. Guests can also watch the games on more than 25 high-definition TVs located throughout the lower-level cantina area, where regular menu items will be available for purchase.

  • Hot N Juicy Crawfish will offer 15% off on all alcohol for the month of March if they mention "March Madness."

  • Take advantage of March Drink Madness at Pampas Churrascaria Brazilian Grille with 50% off drink packages when guests purchase one Rodizio at full price.

  • Located directly across from the Planet Hollywood sportsbook, the 16,800-square-foot PBR Rock Bar & Grill has March Mayhem half-day morning packages (8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.), afternoon half-day packages (4 p.m. until midnight) for $125 per person and full day (8:30 a.m. until midnight) packages for $200. Packages include reserved seating and premium open bar.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Hoops & Hops Party

The Hoops & Hops Party returns to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and after personally attending this all-out bash last year, I highly recommend it.



The sixth-annual viewing party offers reserved seating, single-day or two-day passes on Thursday and Friday. The Belmont Ballroom will be transformed into a sportsbook on steroids and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. In addition to multiple stadium-style television screens, guests can enjoy a number of interactive experiences including access to a hardwood court and regulation basketball hoop, interactive games such as Golden Tee, and an onsite sportsbook.

In addition to an open bar, an array of gourmet stadium fare and game-day snacks will be available, and pass holders can purchase various culinary options from the cash and carry menu.

Three experiences are offered:

  • Two-day passes are $350 per person and include open bar and interactive games access. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Single-day passes include access to open bar and interactive games for $200 per person. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Reserved seating features sofa seating, open bar and buffet access. Reserved seating is now available for purchase.

Additionally, guests may enjoy the games throughout the resort at the outstanding Race & Sportsbook, that just opened last year, as well as CliQue Bar & Lounge, which will feature additional televisions throughout the venue and food and beverage specials with a $200 minimum.

Beer Park
March Madness Seating

Another option for outside viewing is Beer Park, the new roof-top bar connected to Paris Las Vegas that opened last year. Located on a 10,000-square-foot deck overlooking the Fountains of Bellagio, Beer Park provides an open-air atmosphere with dozens of high-definition TVs, 100 beer options, including 36 brews on tap. Guests must purchase a $150 food and beverage credit in advance for March Madness.

Off The Strip

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas
Tournament Madness Viewing Parties

Hard Rock's renowned entertainment venue, The Joint, will have high-definition streams of every NCAA game, 16-18 March, along with casino games, a live sports betting station, prize giveaways and numerous party games such as shuffle puck, beer pong and bean bag toss. The party will be hosted by the girls of REHAB Beach Club and will have specialty cash bars featuring a build-your-own Bloody Mary station.

General admission tickets start at $100 per person, per day and include bottomless Budweiser or Bud Light draft beer, unlimited soft drinks and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Upper tier MVP and VIP packages are also available and include personal cocktail server, custom VIP credentials, a personal high-definition TV, premium views of the giant LED screens and more.

Topgolf Las Vegas
Hoops Headquarters

This will be the first March Madness for Topgolf Las Vegas, which just opened last May to rave reviews — including from yours truly.

Topgolf is much more than just a driving range. The Yard becomes Hoops Headquarters during March Madness, with an onsite sportsbook, satellite betting stations, more than 300 HDTVs, a full menu, beers and beverages.

From 16-18 March, Topgolf Las Vegas venue and its sportsbook will open at 8 a.m. General admission tickets are $50 per day, or purchase a three-day package for $150 (includes taxes; does not include golf play). Seating is done on a first-come, first-served basis. VIP packages are also available.

South Point Sportsbook

South Point Sportsbook

South Point Hotel Casino and Spa
March to the Championship Watch Parties

The South Point, located south of The Strip, about a 10-minute drive from Mandalay Bay, is home to the new Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) radio shows that featured Brent Musburger. In addition, the sportsbook is lively and spacious and has two legendary bookmakers running the show – Jimmy Vaccaro and Chris Andrews.

The March to the Championship Watch Parties are free, run from March 16-18 and will include on-site wagering stations, free chair massages and a variety of food and drink specials, including $3 Bud, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime or Shock Top in 12-ounce bottles, $16 buckets of six Budweiser beers; and $25 pitchers of bloody Marys and margaritas.

Boyd Gaming Properties

  • California Hotel & Casino All of the games will be available in the Ohana and Maile banquet rooms. Doors open at 8 a.m. each day and The Cal will be offering drink specials like $3 beers, $4 shots and $15 buckets of beer.

  • Fremont Hotel & Casino Catch all the action in the Platinum banquet room. Doors open at 8 a.m. each day there will be drink specials like $3 beers, $4 shots and $15 buckets of beer.

  • Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
    Located next to Rio All-Suite Hotel Casino, the Gold Coast will have free viewing parties in the Arizona Ballroom, 15-18 March. Doors open just before the first game and drink specials include $3 Guinness bottles, $4 Flat Tire bottles, and $3 Jameson shots and cocktails.

  • Main Street Station Casino Brewery and Hotel
    The Triple 7 Brewery at Main Street Station opens at 8 a.m. each day. And will have a full menu, hand-crafted microbrews, plus drink specials like select $3 beers, $4 shots and $15 buckets of beer.

  • The Orleans
    Free March Hoopla viewing parties run from March 16-18 and will be held in the Mardi Gras Ballroom. Drink specials will include $3 Bud, Bud Light, Corona, Corona Light and Heineken Light; $4 Fat Tire bottles; $3 Jameson shots and cocktails; $15 buckets of Bud Light; and $2 hot dogs.

  • Suncoast Hotel and Casino
    The March Hoopla viewing parties include food and drink specials, remote betting stations at the Suncoast Showroom and an ESPN-hosted radio show on 17 March.

PUB 365 at Tuscany Suites and Casino

PUB 365 at Tuscany Suites and Casino

Tuscany Suites and Casino
PUB 365

The Tuscany is about a 10-minute walk from The Strip, behind Harrah's Las Vegas, and last year it opened PUB 365, an inviting F&B venue with a collection of 365 rotating beers and a menu of traditional pub fare. It also has a nice TV setup, great service and a William Hill sportsbook just steps away.

During March Madness, PUB 365 will offer 16-ounce Budweiser or Bud Light for $3.50 or beer buckets for $16; Four Peaks drafts for $3.65 or pitchers for $14; Joseph James American Flyer Craft Lager drafts for $3.65, or pitchers for $14.

Ellis Island Casino & Brewery
Ellis Island Madness

A block away from the Tuscany, Ellis Island is hosting its first annual Ellis Island Madness event, 16-19 March. Morning (8 a.m.-3 p.m.) and afternoon (3 p.m.-10 p.m.) sessions are available for $30 or get the full day for $50.

Ticket price includes all the Ellis Island beer you can drink, access to the game day buffet, an "Ellis Island Madness” t-shirt, and guaranteed seating. There will also be giveaways throughout the day, and you can earn raffle tickets when you buy additional drinks from the bar.

Palace Station Hotel and Casino
Viewing Party and NBA 2K17 Challenge

Palace Station is offering free admission to its viewing parties, 16-19 March, inside the grand ballroom across four screens. Doors open one hour prior to the first game tip-off. There will be food and beverage specials offered throughout the event, including $5 chicken wings, sliders and premium cocktails; $4 deluxe cocktails, imported beer and wine by the glass; $3 hot dogs, domestic beer and Bud and Bud Light drafts; $2 bags of peanuts and popcorn, soda and water; and $1 bag of chips. Prices good with a valid Boarding Pass.

Palace Station is also hosting an NBA 2K17 Challenge on Friday and Saturday when guests will have a chance to win an Xbox One.

Downtown Las Vegas

Whenever in Las Vegas, I always try to make it a point to visit the downtown area. Fremont Street is always bubbling with excitement, and last year when March Madness collided with St. Patrick's Day it was an amazing scene, as the Irish revelers and hoop junkies all hit the street at once.

So, if you're looking for a change of pace from The Strip, here are some suggested March Madness spots to hit in DTLV.

El Cortez Hotel & Casino
Brats, Beers and Brackets

El Cortez has undergone a transformation in recent years, and the property is chock full of low table game bet minimums, superb drink specials ($5 margaritas, anyone?) and some chic places to grab a drink, including the Parlour Bar and newly opened Ike's, which offers lounge seating and a sports viewing area with 10 55-inch TVs and three 65-inch screens.

For March Madness, El Cortez, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, is hosting a Brats, Beers and Brackets party, with $3 brats, $2 hot dogs and $2 Budweiser in the Fiesta Room, 16-19 March. Admission to the viewing party is free and it's open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


The D Las Vegas
VIP Packages

The best spot to watch games at The D may be the LONGBAR, which is always lively, but for March Madness VIP Packages inside private Man Caves are available on the 12th floor. Packages are offered for four-, six- or eight-hour blocks and include all-you-can-eat-and-drink with a menu from American Coney Island restaurant, plush leather couches, flat screen TVs, private cocktail servers, sports betting stations from William Hill, table games and more. Call 702.388.2200 for pricing and availability.

Golden Nugget - Las Vegas
March Fever Viewing Party

The Nugget's March Fever Viewing Party includes guaranteed seats in the VIP section, all-you-can-eat stadium style food and four drink tickets valid at premium bar. One-day passes range from $109.25 on Sunday to $228.22 on St. Patrick's Day (including tax and gratuity), or you can save $60 and get a four-day pass for $591.67.
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Best of Gary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT