Review written by Sophie Couard, on February 22, 2016.
The Flamingo is a legendary hotel-casino in Las Vegas! In fact, it was the first huge casino complex on the Strip. It was inaugurated on December 26, 1946, and it was this establishment that started the fashion of casinos in Las Vegas. You could even say that it has started the development of the city. Before the Flamingo was opened it was only a small unknown town in Nevada, but with the success of this establishment and those that followed, the city gradually turned into an entertainment megalopolis, and today it is one of the world's capitals of casinos.
The history of the Flamingo is also worthy of a novel or a movie, and even the creator's life was adapted to film. The movie Bugsy from Barry Levinson with Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, and Harvey Keitel tells the story of New York mobster Benjamin Siegel (known as Bugsy) who plans to continue his rise on the West Coast of the United States by launching the most luxurious hotel in the world in a small town in the middle of the Nevada desert.
In the first years after its opening the complex barely attracted customers, which even caused the murder of the creator through the underworld. Success gradually became greater, and the complex changed owners several times over the years. The complex is currently owned by Caesars Entertainment who managed to maintain the aura of the legendary establishment, and in the rest of this review you can find out what makes it so special.
A stylish casino
The casino of the Flamingo in Las Vegas is very large with approximately 7.200 m². The decoration reminds of Art Deco with Streamline Moderne and South Beach Miami, and you can find nice details everywhere. Tourists will love the tour around the casino, but if you are a player you can find out what the casino offers their players in the next paragraphs.
The slot machines
You can enjoy over 1,800 devices from 1 cent, such as:
- mechanical slot machines (such as Blazing 7s),
- video slot machines (such as Wheel of Fortune),
- games with a progressive jackpot (such as Megabucks),
- electronic blackjack,
- video poker,
- video keno.
The table games
Fans of traditional table games can play their favourite games at 127 tables with:
- let it ride,
- American roulette,
- three card poker,
- six card poker,
- pai gow poker.
There is also a small poker room with six non-smoking poker tables. You can participate in cash games as well as tournaments with a minimum buy-in of $50.
The race & sports book area offers 36 booths where smoking is permitted, and it also has 27 terminals where you can bet on a large selection of sports competitions. You can find three rows of seats in the room that can accommodate about 30 people, and they are very comfortable and come in different sizes. There are also two large screens and 16 smaller screens in the main area, and five larger and nine smaller screens in the secondary lounge area.
Next to the race & sports book area is the keno area, which will surely please fans of this Chinese lottery game.
I would like to conclude this section about the casino by mentioning that all the game areas can be accessed by everyone, regardless of their age. However, if you want to play the games you have to be an adult, which is 21 years, according to the laws in the United States.
Many other things to do
Since it was opened, the Flamingo was well-known for the additional services they offered. The establishment was not only a casino but also offered many other services to attract customers. You can find many additional services and facilities within the complex.
The hotel has a total of 3,626 rooms and suites. It is obviously no longer the most prestigious hotel on the Strip, and therefore you should not expect luxurious rooms. The rooms could do with a renovation, as some of them are very dated and look a little worn out. But on the plus side, the rooms are very clean overall, and the rates are very good too. In short, despite its age, the complex is still an interesting location, especially as it is also located right in the centre of the Strip.
You can find the following restaurants at the premises:
- an all you can eat self service buffet (Paradise Garden Buffet),
- a gourmet restaurant (Center Cut Steakhouse),
- several mid-range restaurants (Margaritaville, Beach Club Bar & Grill and Carlos'n Charlie's),
- different fast food places (Pan Asia Express, L.A. Subs and Salads, Johnny Rockets, Bonanno's Pizzeria and Club Cappuccino).
If you want to take a break between the games you can enjoy:
- a hair dresser (Uno Salon),
- a shopping centre,
- a spa,
- two swimming pools (Beach Club Pool and GO Pool),
- wedding chapels,
- three bars (It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar, The Garden Bar and Bug's Bar).
There are also shows available at different theatres:
- comedy (Jeff Civillico : Comedy in Action, Piff the Magic Dragon and X Comedy _ Uncensored Fun),
- for adults (XBU and X Burlesque),
- tributes (Legends in Concert).
In conclusion, I can say that the Flamingo is a legendary establishment in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, you can feel that it is very old. The complex deserves a good renovation (or even a demolition to make room for a new establishment). However, it is still a very enjoyable place to visit, and not a bad complex at all. The restaurants are very good, the hotel offers good value for money, and the casino has a nice game selection. The thing is just that a location like this deserves a better establishment, and for that it could be much better. In any case, players who like to feel a little history and those who are looking for a hotel-casino with reasonable prices in the centre of the Strip, will find a good address here.