DS9 sure is obsessed with Las Vegas. It’s weird. I wonder if it’s because of the Star Trek Experience going in during the show’s run, or if the Experience led to plot directives to the writer’s room to feature gambling, Vegas, and Vegas-like settings at least X times per season. I suppose it could just reflect the culture of the lot, too, like if the cast and crew spent time there frequently.
I guess knowing what we know about other Vegas-related Trek projects, like the never-realized full-size Enterprise hotel, that it’s likeliest to be some sort of crossmarketing campaign. But it sure is weird. Vegas is what it is, and I just don’t care for it – it just seems out of place in Trek.
This also seems to possibly stem from some of the Moore-Berman-Braga efforts to move Trek away from the famous Roddenberry dictums making human imperfection and foibles largely out of bounds for at least Starfleet personnel.
I’m glad to be finally watching the whole series through, but I think in the end I’m unlikely to alter my personal preference ranking of the series which places DS9 as third-best after TNG and TOS. So often in DS9 the proto-grimdark elements seem just as gimmicky as the comedy bits on the silly episodes.