updated 03/31/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/31/2012 AT 1:25 PM ET
“Out of all country artists, there’s only a handful of us that get a crack at entertainer of the year, so to be one of those is pretty cool,” says the “Flyover States” singer. “It’s an honor to be nominated, but I’ll go on record right now saying I want to win.”
Aldean adds: “I come from a sports background, so I don’t come to the game to sit on the bench, I want to play!”
The awards ceremony isn’t the only time Aldean, 35, is hoping to win big this weekend – it is Vegas, after all.
“I like to gamble,” he says. “My games are blackjack or craps, but if I’m not doing good at either one, I’ll go roulette until I build my confidence back up,” he says of his strategy. “I’m all about seeing if I can go in with a bit of money and walk out with a lot more.”
And his lucky charm just might be fellow country singer and partner on his sold-out “My Kinda Party” tour, Luke Bryan. “We’re good friends and he needs to be in Gamblers Anonymous, too,” says Aldean. “We’ll get down to the casino pretty late, have a few drinks and let it fly.”
And, he adds, win or lose, “They’re the most expensive drinks in town.”
The ACM Awards will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1, on CBS at 8 p.m. ET., and PEOPLE.com will be live-blogging all the action!