thinglets: 5 Websites to Hit Before Going to Vegas



Pretty self-explanatory. If you want to know everything the budget traveller could ever need, is an awesome site. Breaks down hotel/casinos by cheapest eats, sleep, gaming, attractions and other deals. It also has a pretty nice selection of maps that are directly linked back to the properties themselves.


Although many of the changes in Las Vegas have slowed down due to the economy, there is still constant building down the strip. This site will allow you to view pics of the on-going status of all of the new mega-resorts going up (or blowing up) around the city. There is a fantastic color-coded map that's broken down by the umbrella resort companies. Again the map is all linked up and even shows all the proposed ideas for which proposals have been submitted. You can really see how Vegas will look in 10 years.


When you want updated reviews of new and existing properties is the place to go. Although the layout is busy, the category breakdown and tools (including RSS feeds for deals) give quick access to a ton of information. Even includes a section on how to play some of the most common games.


For a bunch of quick-to-read updates on almost all of Vegas' hotels, restaurants, and shows, has reviews going back to at least 2000. For most of the major properties there are several current reviews. They even boast an iPhone app that you can use to submit reviews while travelling up and down the strip... as though there wasn't anything better to do while in Vegas.


For all of you Social Media types, has now done over 200 weekly podcasts all about the changes going on in Vegas and takes great pleasure in ripping the websites of some of the big resorts. They also drop some knowledge on recent entertainment announcements of shows and other news concerning construction and everything else going on. A great on-going resource to listen to if, like me, you love the city and want to keep up on the changes through earbuds instead of tedious reading.

thinglets: Casino Gift Cards


While everyone has seemed to catch on to rip-off of microscamming that are gift cards, it seems that the fad has not faded and, indeed, may be taken in another direction. Casinos in Alberta are instituting a Casino Card system which is under the auspices of "capping" problem gamblers at a specific level. The next logical step, however, is Casino Gift Cards.

Let's face it, the gift card has become the easiest out during the holiday season. It's too gauche to give cash, so give plastic. Now though, instead of passing a Walmart or Target card to a family member, give them 20 pulls on a slot machine.

Some of the complaints that are filing in from around Alberta include the concept of advertising on the cards themselves. I wonder if the cards will have to contain a back and white warning, at least half the size of the card, that warns against the health hazards of gambling.

Maybe they could show the diseased lung of a gambler. Maybe they could give interesting stats about how secondhand gambling will kill children in cars. Maybe they could gather opinions from 3 out of 4 dentists who recommend sugar-free gambling for patients who choose gambling. I just hope someone starts up a "Green Gambling" group that complains about the use of plastic in making the cards.

Anyone who's read lovehatethings or listened to the podcast knows I'm a regular visitor to Vegas and any other casino that gets in my way. And while I empathize with "problem" gambling, just like any other addiction, no piece of plastic or self-imposed limitation is going to impact wide swaths of gamblers. While I would loathe to consider my province banning casinos, I do think that the solution is evident. If enough people are concerned, have a referendum and ban it... can I get odds on the over/under of that vote?