Rio Las Vegas Review

Home of the Ipanema and Marquee Tower suites, VooDoo lounge and Chippendales, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino might be best known in the gaming community as the host property of the World Series of Poker.

Opened in 1990, the Rio, as it is more commonly known, stands glistening in purple and blue immediately to the west of Interstate 15. Though not exactly on the Las Vegas Strip, the property offers the best attributes of both a Strip casino and a locals’ resort respectively.

Poker away from the Rio casino floor

In today’s world where everyone carries a smartphone and often travels with a tablet or laptop, it is no surprise that Caesars Entertainment, the Rio’s parent company, offers a variety of ways to earn Total Rewards credits, real cash, and valuable prizes away from the casino floor.

If located in Nevada or New Jersey, players 21 and older have the opportunity to play real money poker on WSOP.com. Debatably the most notable poker brand in the world has an online component offering cash games and tournaments around the clock.

It is important to note that the New Jersey and Nevada WSOP.com networks appear similar but are in fact unique with respective player pools.  

The convenience of playing on WSOP.com Nevada for guests at the Rio cannot go understated. Once an account is funded (something that can be done via a variety of digital methods or in person at the Rio main cage), there is no longer a need to leave the comfort of a Rio suite to play poker.

Want to play for free and hone those poker skills before jumping into real money games? PlayWSOP.com welcomes adults 21 and over to play for free and never lose a penny playing poker. Take part in a social poker experience by signing up with a Facebook or Google account or email address.

Facebook games and mobile platforms

Facebook games have been popular for years now, but a lot has changed since Farmville. All one needs is a Facebook account to play some of the most authentic Vegas casino games online.

Playtika, a multinational company owned by Caesars Entertainment, brings the Vegas experience to our smartphones and PCs.  

Slotomania is the most popular free-to-play slots game in the world. Search Slotomania Slot Machines in the Facebook search bar and get spinning after a couple clicks.  With more than 100 unique slot titles and the Tournamania area, players can have fun for free and earn Total Rewards credits concurrently.

It’s important to note like many apps that follow the in-app microtransaction model, players can pay to purchase more coins, affording more and higher-level spins.

Caesars Casino adds roulette, blackjack, video poker and other video slots into the mix. Today, the 2014 Facebook hall of fame game award winner can be experienced in several ways. Play Vampire Desires or Power Shot Jackpots on iPhone or iPad, Android device, Mac or PC.  The experience can be found in the Windows store at Microsoft.com or simply by going to CaesarsGames.com in a web browser.

House of Fun is another way to enjoy the Vegas slots experience anywhere with wifi. Warning: nostalgia might set in when opening the classic 777 machine or Egypt, OZ, Diamonds, Rubies, Cherries, Big Cats or Immortal Wilds slots.

Access the free-to-play app on Facebook or via Twitter. House of Fun does not offer a way to earn real money prizes like Slotomania or Caesars Casino; however, it is a great way to entertain and practice on a computer or mobile device.

Playtika also proudly developed the premier bingo game online with Bingo Blitz. Truly a social experience, Bingo Blitz brings a community of bingo players to one’s smartphone, tablet, PC, Mac or even Kindle. Redeem rewards by logging in every day.

Ready for old school Vegas in the 21st century? Vegas Downtown Slots offers a huge welcome bonus, live tournaments and amazing bonus games directly from the Facebook platform. Find the wildly popular free-to-play Playtika app in the Google Play store and other platforms as well.  

Gambling outside of the Rio

The effect of non-US based third party operators helping players get into WSOP events is evident.

Since the passing of the UIGEA, growth in poker has plateaued to the extent that the year-over-year increase in WSOP registration numbers over the past decade is less than the yearly increases from 2003 through 2006.

The data shows though that online gambling traffic and traffic at Rio’s physical casino can help each other. Data compiled on WSOP.com NV traffic shows steady upticks in cash-game traffic during the days the Rio hosts the WSOP in its convention halls.

Last July, the WSOP hosted an event that ran online until a live final table of six players took place at the Rio. The $1,000 no-limit hold’em event saw 1,247 entries yielding a total prize pool of $1,184,650. Clayton Maguire of Colorado took down the bracelet and a first place prize of over $210,000.

Mobile technology impacts nearly every aspect of life today, so why not gambling? Digital, social and mobile versions of gaming platforms are here to stay and effectively supplement brick-and-mortar casino traffic.

Other states and the onlne gambling industry

Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware lead the way in online gambling regulation with bigger states like Pennsylvania and California attempting to join them. PokerStars is now in New Jersey, the first foray into a legal US market for the online poker giant.

WSOP NV, which shares player traffic with Delaware’s 888 poker, is showing improved revenue data and an overall positive trend in gaming in the First State. Dover Downs and Delaware Park both have had better than expected runs in terms of revenue and new player registration.

The Pennsylvania legislature is trying to push through online gambling and daily fantasy sports regulation either this year or next, attempting to allow licensed land-based casinos to partner with online gambling providers.