Sports betting has evolved from the days of the corner candy shop bookie to the huge amphitheaters and lounges housing Las Vegas' state-of-the art sports books. Here you can take your choice and view the games on large overhead display screens as well as personal television sets, while relaxing in comfortable chairs.
Each casino's sportsbook has it's own unique identity and style ranging from the opulent to the very basic. Most include a knowledgeable and courteous staff on-hand to assist you with any questions you might have.
Walk into many of these books and it is a rare person who can't help but be awed by the action. Most of the books feature state-of-the art LED boards listing that day's athletic events with odds posted, along with any future match-ups and their posted odds. The crystal-clear oversized screens showing five or six games simultaneously are a sports fan's treat.
There are differences between placing a bet at a legal Las Vegas sports book and betting with the neighborhood bookie back home. In the first place, the legal books work on a pay-as-you-go basis, rather than the credit system in place with most hometown bookies.
This means you pay for your bet up front, rather than settling-up on Tuesday. The working premise is that you bet what you can afford to lose out of pocket. There are no legal books working off credit systems in Las Vegas. There are phone accounts that are available for residents only.
The sportsbooks of Las Vegas are open a minimum of 12 hours per day, and longer for special event weekends like the Super Bowl, NCAA Basketball Tournament, and playoffs in different sports.
There is nothing more exciting than being in a Las Vegas book on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon during football season, with the overhead screen displaying 5-10 different games simultaneously, bettors urging their teams on, the intensity unmatched anywhere. And this goes to a whole new level during playoffs and the biggest day of the year for the books: Super Bowl Sunday.