Reason #1 I like Bovada:

Play for free
with no hassles

Most online casinos insult you with popups and spam, and they give you the hard sell even if you just want to try their free-play games.  Fortunately there's Bovada, which is the opposite.  That's the primary reason they're the only online casino I accept advertising from.

  • No registration required.  Most casinos let you play for free with fake money, but there's a catch: They make you register an account first.   That's not just a hassle: after you register you can expect them to badger you by email trying to get you to deposit real money.  But Bovada lets you play right away without forcing you to register an account.  Just close any registration boxes that appear, and then you can play without registering.  Here, try it.
  • Plays right in your browser.  If you'd rather not download the casino software to your hard disk, you don't have to.  The games play right in your web browser.  Nice.
  • Works on Macs.  The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible!  Before Bovada, Mac users were pretty much out of luck for gambling online, even for free-play.  Not any more.

Bovada's not perfect, but there's no better site serving most of the U.S.

Visit Bovada

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Las Vegas Casino Ownership

Last Update: March 2018.


Who owns Mandalay Bay?  Answer:  MGM Resorts.

See below for a complete list of their Vegas properties.


If you thought most casinos in Vegas were independently owned, think again.  There's a staggering amount of consolidation in Vegas casino ownership.  In fact, just two companies together own the overwhelming majority of strip properties.  So, if you have a bad experience at one casino and think, "Huh!  I'll just take my business across the street!", there's a good chance the new casino you walk into will be owned by the very same company!


This page lists the biggest casino groups, the ones that each own several casinos.  I generally don't include companies that own just 1-3 casinos.  For a comprehensive rundown of casino ownership, see Nick Christenson's excellent list.


The Strip

A whopping 19 of the 29 strip casinos are owned by just two companies. Bye-bye, competition!

MGM Resorts

  1. Aria
  2. Bellagio
  3. Circus Circus
  4. Excalibur
  5. Luxor
  6. Mandalay Bay
  7. MGM Grand
  8. The Mirage
  9. Monte Carlo
  10. New York New York

In 2005 the MGM & Mandalay companies merged, creating the largest gaming company in the world at that time, with 28 properties in five states, annual revenues of $6 billion, and control of 40% of the slots, 44% of the table games, and 36,000 of the 73,000 rooms on the Las Vegas Strip.

Treasure Island used to be part of this group, but MGM Mirage sold it to Phil Ruffin in March 2009.

Cosmpolitan, next to Aria, is actually not part of MGM's CityCenter, and is in fact owned by Deutsche Bank.

 

Caesar's Entertainment

  1. Bally's
  2. Caesars Palace
  3. The Cromwell
  4. Flamingo
  5. Harrah's
  6. Linq / O'Sheas
  7. Paris
  8. Planet Hollywood
  9. Rio
  10. Harrah's (Laughlin)

The 2005 merger between Caesars & Harrah's surpassed MGM/Mandalay to create the largest gaming company in the world, with 40 properties over 100,000 employees.  The merged company was initially known as Harrah's Entertainment, then in Nov. 2010 the name changed to Caesar's Entertainment Corp.

Downtown Vegas

Boyd Gaming

  • California
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station

Derek & Greg Stevens

  • The D
  • Las Vegas Club
Individually-owned
Boyd Gaming
Downtown
  • California
  • Fremont
  • Main Street Station
Locals Casinos
  • Aliante
  • Gold Coast
  • Orleans
  • Sam's Town
  • Suncoast
Not in Vegas
  • Eldorado (Henderson)
  • Joker's Wild (Henderson)
  • Sam's Town Gold River (Laughlin)

Station Casinos

  • Boulder Station
  • Palace Station
  • Santa Fe Station
  • Sunset Station
  • Texas Station

  • Fiesta Henderson
  • Fiesta Rancho
  • Red Rock Casino
  • Wild Wild West
  • Wildfire
  • Green Valley Ranch
  • Barley's
  • The Greens
  • Gold Rush
  • Magic Star
  • Lake Mead
  • Renata's Casino
     
  • Thunder Valley (Lincoln, CA)

Ownership changes

  • Gold Spike, Las Vegas Club, The Plaza, and the Western are sold by Jackie Gaughan to Barrick Gaming for $82 million, along with 35 acres of land and two downtown motels.  Gaughan retains control of the El Cortez. (March 2004)
  • Boyd Gaming and Coast Casinos merged in Feb. 2004 in a deal reportedly worth $1.3 billion. Coast had Barbary Coast, Gold Coast, Orleans, and Suncoast.  Boyd had Stardust, Fremont, California, Main St. Station, Sam's Town, Joker's Wild, the Eldorado in Henderson, half of the Borgata in Atlantic City, and casinos in the Midwest and South.

Related lists:


Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

I like Bovada's practice games the best, because you can play right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's why Bovada is the only online casino that gets space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

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I believe everything herein to be accurate, but I'm not responsible for errors or omissions.  I'm pretty irresponsible, actually.

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