Helpful Tips, Advice for Next Trip to Las Vegas

Be sure to maximize your Las Vegas experience. (WikiMedia Commons/King of Hearts)

The first time I visited Las Vegas was in 1991. I remember exactly what I said to myself: “This is where I want to retire.”

Little did I know, seven years later I would be hired by the Las Vegas Review-Journal to be their horse racing columnist and handicapper. I left that position last year after two decades, but the odds of me retiring in Las Vegas remain pretty good.

This career of mine has allowed me to share my passion for horse racing with newcomers and everyday fans alike. And now, with this chance to write for America’s Best Racing, I can expand that a bit to sports betting and Vegas, in general.

I love getting emails and messages on social media from people asking for all kinds of advice as it pertains to horse racing, sports betting, and Vegas.

Well, here is a bit of advice for the next time you are making an extended visit to Vegas. Ask the race and sports book supervisor if the casino has a race and sports betting app. There are a lot of reasons, all good, why you should install one on your phone.

The most obvious one is convenience. Once you deposit money into your app you can make a bet from your seat. You can actually make a bet from anywhere in Nevada. If you reside in another state, the app won’t work once you leave Nevada.

If you are concerned about drink tickets, talk to the supervisor first and ask about their policy. If you are churning money via horses or sports, you should still be able to drink for free. You may not be able to park for free, but that’s another story.

Entering the bets yourself should ensure you will get what you pay for. Once in a blue moon a ticket writer may mispunch a bet. It happens because they are human. Now if you mispunch a ticket, you can blame anyone you want but the buck stops here.

The ability to bet at the last minute before post time or kickoff lets you see the odds right up to the start of the event. For example, I have won and lost enough ball games by a half-point to know the “hook” is incredibly important. You want the hook on your side.

A lot of visitors come to Vegas with a budget in mind. Thus, for example, if you budgeted $300 for horse race betting you can deposit that onto your phone app. Every time you look at your balance you know exactly where you stand.

I know a lot of folks in town who are smarter than me. Once in a while they will like a horse or a team and share it with me. With my phone app, I can place the bet right then and there. No rushing to the nearest race and sports book to get down in time.

There are many more reasons, but I think you get the drift. The last point I’ll make is all casinos have player reward programs. As long as you are a member, the phone app guarantees you get points credited for every dollar wagered.

Richard Eng is the author of “Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies”, an introductory book for newcomers to the sport of horse racing.  For two decades, he was the turf editor and handicapper for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He still handicaps the Southern California tracks and his picks are for sale at You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @richeng4propick and on

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