The One Las Vegas Sports Book I Never Visited

My Las Vegas sports book adventures began nearly 25 years ago – 1990 to be exact. Fresh out of high school and attending college while working my first job in Southern California, trips to Las Vegas with friends provided a respite from what I thought at the time was “a busy life.”

Always the sports fan, I immediately found these Vegas sports viewing palaces called “race and sports books” fascinating. So while my buddies played slots or sat at a black jack table, fingers crossed, hoping not to be asked asked for ID, I calmly sat at the sports book and enjoyed the heck out of it. Vegas was more relaxed those days – sure there were times that you would get carded, but more often than not, if you kept your cool and acted like you belonged, you would generally be in good shape…..the good ol’ days.

Desert Inn Las Vegas Commemorative Coins

Desert Inn Las Vegas Race & Sports Book Commemorative Coins






Those trips in the early 90s are even more poignant now as I feel fortunate to have stayed at resorts that are long gone. The Frontier, Stardust, and Sands are places that come to mind – cheap rooms and they all had sports books! But there is one spot that I never stayed at, and never even stepped foot in for that matter – The Desert Inn. While the sports books at places like the Stardust (legendary spot) and The Frontier (old school right down to the carpet) are still fresh in my mind’s memory, The Desert Inn sports book is one spot that I wish I could have seen……at least once.

The Frontier Sports Book - Old School

The Frontier Sports Book – Old School & Long Gone








The Desert Inn definitely had a sports book, evidenced by the collector coins commemorating the opening and closing – The Desert Inn ceased operating in August of 2000. When I visit The Wynn, which now occupies the land where the Desert Inn once stood, I sometimes wonder what the Desert Inn sports book looked like. Hopefully, I will come across a photo one day.


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