You have to hand it to The D, as it continues to do the little things that pull gamblers into its casino. The recent buzz has been about its move to join the Golden Gate as the first casinos in the world to accept the Bitcoin. For now, the use of the new digital currency is limited to the front desk at either casino for hotel charges, as well as The D’s gift shop, American Coney Island and Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. It cannot be used for gambling, but don’t be surprised to see more of the Bitcoin soon: Kiosks allowing both deposits and withdrawals could be next.
Another example of how The D thinks outside the box is its baccarat game with a 4 percent commission. When I say “game,” I mean it: There’s only one table in the casino. But it’s also the only one in town dealing the commission reduction. Standard baccarat games take a 5 percent commission on winning bank bets, which sets the casino edge at 1.04 percent. The commission drop to 4 percent lowers the edge to 0.6 percent. The D has also installed three new blackjack tables upstairs; they’re square-shaped and have $5 minimums.
A block up the street at the Downtown Grand, you can participate in a free daily slot tournament. Play anytime between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., and get a no-risk shot to win free play from a $1,000 prize pool. Get there a little early and grab a free cup of coffee, available in the lobby from 6 to 10:30 a.m.
For a snack, the Fremont’s shrimp cocktail is an easy play. It’s not the Golden Gate, but it’s the best 99-center remaining in town, and it’s available almost 24 hours a day (11 a.m.-7 a.m.) from the easy-to-access Lanai Express snack bar. Wash it down with a $2 Heineken or Corona from any casino bar.
Out on the Strip, Pin-Up Pizza has opened at Planet Hollywood. The deal here is the “longest slice on the Strip,” or anywhere in town for that matter. At 15 inches by 6 inches for just $4.75, it’s roughly twice the size of the $4.50 slice at the “secret” pizza place across the street at the Cosmopolitan. A New York-style pizzeria, Pin-Up is accessible directly from the Strip, and is open till 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (4 a.m. on weekends).
Speaking of the Cosmopolitan, the casino is distributing neat little gift boxes to passengers on United Airlines flights that include a two-fer for the Wicked Spoon buffet and $25 in slot free play.
Finally, Downtown’s Mob Museum will celebrate its second anniversary with free admission for Nevadans on Valentine’s Day.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and LasVegasAdvisor.com.