by Kevin Stott | With betting windows and electronic signboards in front of you, a massive bank of 60-inch televisions to your right, a bar behind you, fresh food to the left and flat-screen TVs everywhere, the recently renovated sports book at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino did a great job looking out for its’ sports gamblers.
Tucked in the center of the renowned casino (129 E. Fremont Street) in the middle of downtown in the Fremont Street Experience, the cozy sports book is very attractive with fine, dark-wood walls and a somewhat low-lit ambience which suits most sports bettors just fine.
The book has 45 single-screen carrels with TVs and also has a number of leather circular booths and couches meaning you can either do your betting homework sitting upright or slouch back with a drink and try figuring out what TV you want to watch. It seems every inch of the book has something going on with plasma screens and futures odds tucked in everywhere.
The renovation of the sports book – run by Sports Book Director Tony Miller – was part of a bigger expansion for the Golden Nugget after being bought out by Landry’s Restaurants back in 2005. It took about 14 months, according to Public Relations Manager Justin McVay.
"We had a huge re-launch, a re-grand opening so to speak. We invited the media, celebrities, all that," McVay said. "It was about the Golden Nugget kind of revitalizing itself after Landry’s purchase (of it). The entire renovation was around $100 million and included the gaming floor and the sports book and a lot of other things."
McVay said the sports book designers immersed the space in new technologies. "I think we have the most television screens per square footage than any other place in Vegas. And that’s what we tried to capitalize on. Someone could go in there, maybe get a reserved racing booth if they wanted to or just kick back in one of the lounges and really be able to watch anything they wanted to from any vantage point or angle."
For those creature comforts like food and drink, the sports book at the Golden Nugget makes sure its patrons don’t have to go too far. A beautiful new bar makes up the back side and The Grille, serving snack-type food, is adjacent to the book on the left.
As far as actually putting your bets in, the sports book has six betting windows and had three open, with ticket writers mid-day on a Wednesday.
Landry’s has now poured a total of $170 million into the Golden Nugget in renovations and expansions since the buyout and will start on Phase III, a 500-room, $150 million tower on the property.