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benjamin eckstein bingo beat

LAS VEGAS — Got a ton of stuff on my plate for the week and it starts with “smoke ’em if you got ‘em.” Just found a coupon for a carton of Marlboro Reds for 76 bucks (US). Don’t smoke and not sure if that’s a good price, but if you’re coming my way, yell, and I’ll shoot you the coupon.

Since it’s gonna be 110+ this week in Vegas, if you’re in town, you gotta get some ice cream/custard, and the BEST place is a hole-in-the-wall downtown joint called “Luv-it Frozen Custard.” You walk up to a window at the back of a nondescript parking lot that is a few steps off Las Vegas Boulevard. While the parking lot is nondescript, if you turn to your right, you’ll notice the back door of the OG Strip Club, which is a WHOLE other column.

Luv-it has been in the same spot since 1973, and you’ll find the traditional vanilla and chocolate, as well as the flavor of the week. May we suggest the Western Sundae, which is a GLORIOUS mix of hot fudge, hot caramel and buttered, roasted, salted pecans. Or if you’re just looking for a cone, may I point you toward some of these flavors: Cherry Pie, Blue Moon, Sin-A-Buns, Liquorice and my ALL-TIME fave, DEATH BY CHOCOLATE!

They used to take cash only, but they’ve moved into the high-tech world with an app and credit card payments. And if you’re starting a new business and looking for a tagline, ask these folks. Their tagline is, “Try it...You’ll Luv-It.”

If you’re into hoops, the NBA Summer League is in town until July 17 at the Thomas & Mack Center, and YES, they do have air conditioning.

Now for the best-kept secret in Vegas, and another way to make some money. You ready? One word, five letters.

B......I......N......G......O!!!!

My daughter actually works the bingo room in one of the casinos, and I just went down to play. And it was a HOOT!

Of course, I was one of the youngest in the room, since the demographic is ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE!!! Nothing against the folks who are pushing 100, but, yes, and don’t judge me, you CAN have an edge.

First of all, they don’t hear too well – actually, I don’t either – so you can kinda work the room to your advantage. This one lady sitting across the table from me looked like she was gonna hit a bingo when the caller yelled B-7. She had her DAUBER, and don’t get me started on daubers ’cause that’s an entire column. She was ready to dab the B-7 and asked me what number was called. I told her it was G-7, and she dabbed it.

Guess what, the next call was O-74, and I screamed BINGO! Felt bad for a minute, but when they came back with the payoff – 1,300 bones – the evil started to wash away. Bought Grandma six bingo cards for the next game, and also, a new dauber with the image of, who else, ELVIS!

Got a ton of bingo stories, including one of the MOST FUN nights EVER! It was GAY BINGO! It was costumes, music, a DJ and a ton of pictures. I’ll get them posted eventually.

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... ben@americasline.com.