Las Vegas Factoids

July 4th, 2018 by

Happy Fourth Of July!

Being a frequent traveler to Las Vegas, I have learned a lot from talking to locals and mostly bartenders. There are things people think are legal in Las Vegas, but they really are not, leading to some people ending up in jail. There are also things people assume, and in not doing something, become total A-Holes. Hopefully this post will enlighten people and prevent some issues.


TIP YOUR COCKTAIL WAITRESS! I made this big and bold, as well as first for a reason. The woman who walks around serving free drinks to guests are paid based on tips. Tip pay is lower than a normal hourly wage, and the difference is supposed to be made up in tips. Also Nevada law requires that all sales are taxed. When the waitress goes to a special bar area to get your drinks, she has to ring up the sale. If a beer is normally a $4.00 sale the waitress rings that sale up. Taxes on sales in Nevada is 8.1%. The tax would be 32¢ on the drink. The tax comes out of the waitresses pocket, not the casino’s. If you give the waitress a dollar for every drink she brings, 32¢ of that dollar pays the tax, and the waitress keeps the rest. You are getting a $4.00 beer for $1.00. A great deal compared to sitting at the bar and ordering a beer. Yes, you have to be gambling, but I have put money into a machine, ordered a drink, tipped the waitress, and cashed out.

Your dealers are probably part time and work at several casinos to make a living. Also, tip your dealer on occasion. Most dealers are hired on a part time basis. The reason, casinos know when the tables are the busiest and need to fill those tables with dealers, rotate them regularly, and so need staffing on hand. Having people full time means having to overlap shifts and pay benefits to dealers, so it is a grossly inefficient model. Many dealers work at several different casinos. Since they are now limited to about 29 hours per employer per week it is not unusual for a dealer to work two or three casinos. Nights and weekends are prime time, so many will work seven days a week. Dealer pay is also based on tips. Depending on the casino’s structure, tips are usually pooled, and divided amongst all the dealers working over a certain shift.

You can walk around Las Vegas with open intoxicants, but you cannot drink and drive. Because people are walking all over Las Vegas with open alcoholic beverages and drinking as they go, many assume that when they enter their vehicle, they can continue drinking. When police pull people over, and those people have open intoxicants, they can be arrested or ticketed.


Prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas. Nevada law prohibits prostitution in counties with more than 50,000 people. That is why the two counties Las Vegas is spread out upon cannot have legal prostitution. Mainly men wind up stung by this law when they call escort services or try to pick up a prostitute on the street or in the casino, and those women turn out to be police. There are several legal brothels in Nevada, one can Google them.

Gambling is legal in Nevada, but only in casinos. The state of Nevada is fine with gambling in casinos, since it can regulate and tax gambling. If you are not gambling in a casino, but in a hotel room or backroom of a bar, you are committing a crime. Also, the sale of lottery tickets is prohibited in Nevada.

Children are not allowed in the casino. Yes, children can be in the resorts, but they cannot be wondering the casino floor or in the area of slot machines. Adults with children have to keep an eye on their child. If the child plays a machine and wins, the money is not paid and the parents cannot collect it. You can be fined even if your child is caught playing on the machines.

Most casinos will swap out competitors chips for their own chips. If you walk into Caesars Palace after gambling at the Mirage, and you want to gamble, but only have chips from the Mirage, Caesars Palace will take the chips, and give you their chips. Most casinos are willing to do this.


Any win over $2,999 is reported to the government. The US government requires all gambling wins of $3,000+ to be reported. This is due to casinos being possibly used for money laundering. If you win a big amount in Las Vegas, you will have to go to the casino cage to cash it out. The machines that pay out money will not cash out anything over $2,999.99. If you go to the casino cage, and the amount is $3000+, you will have to fill out paperwork. Actually any win over $1,200 on a slot machine is taxable income by the US and state governments. Theoretically you could be cashing out a $3,000 slot machine win, but you could claim that you gambled $2,500. Thus your win is not really a win. The reportable income is based on how much of a multiple of your win. If you put $100 into the slot machine, and won $3,000, you might be in trouble with the IRS if you do not report the $2,900 winnings. Will the IRS investigate this, probably not. The risk is your’s to assume.

Related to the above paragraph. You are only allowed to cash out $3,000+ at the casino cage three times in a twenty four hour period. If you are really lucky, and you win $3,000+ on slot machines and bring the ticket to the casino cage, you get your money. Win a second time, you get your money. Win a third time, you get your money. The fourth time, you will not be paid. You will have to wait 24 hours. Sucks if you are leaving the next day. Again, these laws are intended to prevent money laundering.

Cash Out Your Ticket. For years Las Vegas has used ticket in/ticket out machines, instead of coin machines. This has changed gaming. Most machines work on an incremental basis, this is why I changed my playing style. Most people will play until they can no longer viably play the machine they are on. I.E. the person has 3¢ left on a 5¢ machine. In the end, many people will take what is left and throw the ticket away. Not wanting three cents. I understand. Yet, I always cash out my ticket, even if it is a penny. I can toss the penny into a fountain or add it to the change in my pocket and give the change to a homeless person. The reason I cash out my ticket is casinos have to add up all unclaimed money and pay a very hefty tax. Unclaimed money is taxed at 50%. The money goes to the state of Nevada to be used for various projects. I support Nevada and Las Vegas enough with my gambling, I do not need to support the state or city even more with my loses. If you throw the penny into a fountain, the money is scooped out and donated directly to a local charity. There are placards on the fountains telling you which charity it goes to. Since the money from the fountain is a charitable donation, the casino pays no taxes, and might even get a tax break. Yes, I am losing the penny one way or another, but it goes directly to a charity if I toss it into a fountain. If I give it to a homeless person, it goes to help them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Barstool Entertainment

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