Las Vegas: it’s the gambling capital of the world – the place that many of the biggest gamblers on the planet go to enjoy a plethora of different games, from blackjack through to poker, and from roulette through to progressive slot machines. If you’re scheduled to visit Las Vegas soon, you certainly won’t be disappointed with what you find, as this city really does live up to its reputation, and more.
Before you head off to Nevada though, there are a few things that you absolutely must know, and you’ll find them all here on this page. So, why not keep on reading and find out everything you need to know about Las Vegas, the world’s gambling capital?
David Yeskel, aka The Vegas Guru®, has covered the Las Vegas beat for over 20 years for several publications including Travel Weekly, TravelAge West, Travel Agent Magazine and Las Vegas Magazine
Bellagio: Classic luxury amidst beautiful surroundings and stunning artwork - what else could you ask for?
Venetian-Palazzo: Where else can you ride a gondola through faux Venetian canals under an always-perfect sunset?
Binions: Serious, in-the-know players realize that downtown Las Vegas casinos typically offer the best gaming odds, and Binions is the centerpiece of that action.
Red Rock: Only 20 minutes from the Strip, but a world away in terms of ambience, Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa offers guests the rare Vegas combination of a true, sprawling resort, a massive casino and nearby hiking trails to commune with nature.
Caesars Palace: In a city that thrives on novelty, 52-year-old Caesars Palace, recently refreshed with new rooms, restaurants, nightclubs and spa features, still holds cachet as the best timeless casino-resort in Las Vegas.
Casinos are, without doubt, the main feature of the Las Vegas skyline. Wherever you stand in the city, you’ll be able to see them shooting up into the air, tempting you to come in and play. With so many casinos in the city though, it can be tough to know which one to choose, so we’ve listed five of the best Las Vegas gambling establishments below…
The Bellagio is one of the biggest casinos in the city, and has the famous fountains dancing in front of it. It has everything a gambler could want, from hundreds of slots through to a 40-table poker room, and also features things such as a botanical garden and an art gallery. If you’re looking for an all-in-one destination, the Bellagio is a great choice.
You’ve probably already seen the pictures of this casino, with gondolas ferrying visitors through this venue. While the gambling is great, most people visit for the shows, which include the Blue Man Group and Jersey Boys. This casino is also widely regarding as having the best sportsbook in the entire city.
One of the classic Las Vegas casinos, opening in the 1960s, it evokes memories of the famous Rat Pack, who used to frequent this establishment regularly. You’ll be able to see big stars such as Celine Dion and Elton John at this venue, plus it also has a huge shopping complex. The gambling is really good as well!
Binion’s is one of the most historic casinos in the whole city, and is somewhere that all poker fans absolutely must visit. This is because Binion’s was the first place to hold the World Series of Poker, and the tables have been graced by some of the biggest names to ever play the game. Despite no longer having a hotel, the casino remains open.
If you want to get away from the bright lights of central Las Vegas, Red Rock Resort is perfect. Although it is located several miles away from the Strip, it still has everything a gambler could want, plus it is also known as a fantastic place to watch shows, especially the famous pool concerts.
For most people, the number one goal when visiting Vegas is simple: to win big in the casino. There are a few things to remember though if you want to walk away with a profit, and the most important thing is this: never, ever gamble when you are drunk. With waitresses constantly buzzing around with alcoholic beverages, the temptation is always there to have a couple of beers or a few glasses of wine, however this will impair your judgement and cause you to gamble less effectively. The casinos know this – why else do you think they often provide complimentary drinks to players?
Also, try to limit the time that you spend at a table, as tiredness is nearly as bad as being drunk. Don’t sit at the same poker table for tens of hours, in the hope that your luck will change, but instead grab some sleep or enjoy one of Vegas’ other attractions. You should feel much better when you sit down to play the next day. Also, if you’re on a losing streak, don’t be afraid to walk away and try again later.
Finally – and this is really important – don’t spend all of your money on the first day! Instead, work out how much you have to spend, and then assign a set amount to each day. By doing so, you’ll be able to avoid losing all of your money during an unlucky streak. You should also only ever gamble with money you can afford to lose – those who gamble with money set aside for important bills will nearly always play worse than more relaxed gamblers.
The minimum age to gamble in Las Vegas is 21, and this is also the case for those who want to drink in the city. It is common for those even over the age of 21 to be asked for ID, so it is therefore a good idea to always carry ID with you. You’ll also be asked for ID if you want to pay for something using a credit card or traveller’s cheques.
Yes, gambling is heavily regulated in Las Vegas, and the body assigned to oversee all gambling activities is the Nevada Gaming Commission . They ensure that all casinos are acting fairly, and also deal with the taxes paid by the casino. Don’t think that Las Vegas is still like the 1960s, as nowadays it is run by the state, and not by organized crime!
Gambling tax should be paid on all wins over $600, and on all wins worth more than 300x the stake. Only those winning while playing games such as keno and bingo generally pay these taxes though, as the casino withholds a certain portion of the winnings to cover them. It’s left to the player to pay taxes on games such as blackjack and roulette though, meaning that most don’t end up paying.
The gambling industry in Las Vegas is in extremely good health, and it only looks like it will grow stronger in the future. Some were slightly concerned that the world of online gambling would impact on Las Vegas’ land-based casinos, however this hasn’t happened, as people are still drawn to Vegas by its glitz, glamour and excitement.