The window is closed for entering the big-money football contests, but you can still play the smaller ones with weekly prizes for the rest of the season. These are no-brainer free-rolls that lurk all over town. Translation: The worst you can do is break even and have some fun in the process. The best? You could win up to $30,000.
That $30K prize is handed out weekly in the Boyd’s “Pick the Pros” contest. It’s an aggregate prize, which means it’s split if there are multiple winners, and there’s a good chance of that (so what?). The other big weekly contest is “Gridiron Glory” at Station properties. First prize each week is $10k and, if you play it regularly, you’ll also receive smaller prizes on a regular basis. They’re usually something like $1.50 in club points or a free drink, but more valuable possibilities are also there.
Moving down the list, a good contest is “College Football Clash” at Wild Wild West, Barley’s and Wildfire at Boulder and Rancho, as well as Wildfire Lanes at Sunset. This one awards $500 in weekly prizes to the top three finishers. It’s a college-game contest, so you have to have your picks in before the games kick off on Saturdays.
The Longhorn has an under-the-radar contest for Monday-night games. In this one, you play against a payout schedule, not the other players, for aggregated payouts of $1,000 for a perfect card, $500 for one miss, $300 for two misses, $200 for three misses and dinner for two for four misses (thankfully, not aggregated).
Several casinos run smaller contests that are kiosk-based, where all you need to do is swipe a players card to submit an entry. As of now, I can confirm that there are weekly freebie kiosk contests at Rampart, Ellis Island, Hard Rock, Klondike Sunset and Silverton. Of these, the Rampart’s “Red Zone to Riches” is particularly interesting in that it pays 17 places every week. The Rampart isn’t a very convenient location for most people. Accordingly, its contest figures to be more sparsely played than those at more centrally located properties: There’s opportunity here.
As much as I like the casino offerings, the ones I enjoy uncovering the most are the contests in the local bars. Look around whenever you’re in a new place. In most spots where they’re running a contest, there’ll be rectangular placards on the bar. The placards at O’Aces Decatur, for example, promote its Monday Night Football contest with a $200 prize for the winner and a chance at $10K if you fill out a perfect card. It’s free to play and you can submit one every day of the week for a total of seven entries.
These weekly contests are total free-rolls: You can’t lose! But make sure you read the fine print. According to the O’Aces rules, your entry is void if you don’t fill it out in ink. Invalidating a winner for using a pencil would be a bummer.
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and lasvegasadvisor.com.