Tipping / Money Matters, Las Vegas
All countries differ on their tipping, whether you do or dont is entirely up to you but please take into consideration that all Hospitality workers in Las Vegas are taxed on an average earnings from tips...so whether they receive them or not, they are still taxed AND their wages are really low. So heres a few general tips on the amount one should give when receiving good service.
15-20% on table service for food and drink
A token tip if you serve yourself.
$1 per drink on all free drinks whilst gambling.
$1-$2 per bag to hotel personal for taking bags to room
$2 valet parking.
$2 a day for room maids
$1-$2 for Taxi drivers.
While Las Vegas sometimes projects an image of the tourist gambler seated in front of a slot machine, sipping on free drinks and wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, but there is another side to Las Vegas that is much more refined and the image you project can make a difference in several matters--specifically, your accelerated entrance to locations with lines and extra service with a smile ahead of others.
Blue jeans, shorts, sandals and similar casual clothing is not preferred (and sometimes, not acceptable) in some establishments. I always make it a point to dress nicely when attending shows or taking transportation somewhere. You will be noticed first by either hosts/hostesses or maitre d's and the like, and oftentimes you will be approached by them first thinking you may be someone of importance and also someone that will tip accordingly.
On my most recent trip, I was able to get VIP seating in several venues simply by dressing appropriately and discreetly tipping the host $10 on one occasion and $20 the other. Both times, I was offered immediate service.
Las Vegas is tourist-driven and the people working in this industry do rely on tips to an extent. When exceptional service is provided, be prepared to tip accordingly (carry $1's and $5's).
The convenience of tipping on the front end can mean less time working your way to a service desk, a bar, etc. as the help will come to you.
It pays to be kind to the person who checks you in to your hotel, because they decide in which room you will stay. Granted, there are times when availability is low, so the agent has little choice, but depending on when you check in, you may be able to get a room with a view or possibly an upgrade. Sometimes this can be as simple as just asking.
Having worked on the Strip, I can tell you that a smile and good attitude can get you far (and sadly with some agents, greasing their palm helps). With the good folks, you do your best at putting them in a decent room... and with the sour apples... well, you try to put them where they belong.
The Strip and surrounding areas cater to tourists. Those who work in these parts are extremely friendly and helpful, and they work, by and large for tips.
Tip the bellman, tip your servers, bartenders, dealers, and tip the person who stands outside and hails the waiting cab. Remember to also tip the people who clean your room, help with show tickets and your cab drivers. Everyone comes to Vegas hoping to have a great time and expecting to spend some money and these folks are the ones who make the experience so worthwhile in many respects. So take care of them.
Taxi drivers and servers: 15-20%
Bartenders: $1- $2 per drink, unless you've been comped, then give more.
Bellman: $1-2 per bag
Housekeeping: $2-3 per day, depending on how many people per room,
When you're hard at work at the slots or the tables, the 'cocktail' waitresses will take care of you, so long as you take care of them. Tip them at least a dollar each time they bring you a drink and they will take care of you as long as you are gambling.
Many staff in Las Vegas earn US$5.15 or less an hour and rely on their tips to buy everyday essentials - do your bit for them and they'll take care of you.
There's this thing that Las Vegas veterans refer to as "the $20 trick" which is where a person, when checking in, offers (sneakily) a $20 bill to the person at the desk with their credit card and asks, "is there any way I can get an upgrade" or something such, in order to get a better room with a better view without paying more (except the $20 "tip").
The message is mixed on how well this works. Apparently sometimes this works very well (though maybe if they'd just asked pleasantly the results would have been the same), and other times the desk person will say "sorry, we don't have anything" and then the person checking in keeps the $20.
I've never tried the trick, so am passing on hear-say information. I asked for a room with a view of the Strip at Treasure Island and I was told none was available by a rather snotty clerk, but didn't try the trick because I didn't care that much and, after all, I did get the room via an Internet special.
Drinks in Las Vegas are free, as long as you're gambling, however if your spouse is sitting beside you, but not feeding the monster, you can expect to order a drink for them as well. Tip the waitress half the price of a drink, and remember you're still getting a drink for half price. Give a bit more once in a while if you remain at the same spot. The waitress does a lot of walking, so be kind. If you're polite, she will remember where you're sitting. Above all, don't ogle her dress, or lack there of. She is someone's sister or daughter. Tips can be actual currency, or casino coins or chips.
Tipping seems almost obligatory so make sure you always have a decent supply of $1 bills on you. Perhaps because it is so expected you shouldn't find people hanging around for a tip so you don't feel pressurised or uncomfortable if you choose not to tip them. The only people I definitely refused to tip were the self important bell boys outside the hotels who would beckon a cab from the taxi rank a few yards away and open the door for you. It almost seems that the taxi drivers are told not to move until "called" by the bell boy so that he can pretend he has provided a service and justify a tip.
Although times are tough and it’s tough on everyone. Especially those who work in services within the hotels, restaurants, transportation, and casino's. Tipping is the only way these individuals are able to supplement their wages. Lately, these individuals have noted that people are tipping less if not at all. Let's not forget these people work hard and make an honest living. So let’s not forget to remember how hard they work too. Show your appreciation
The staff that walk the floor, do payouts etc., can be your best friends. They see the action, they know the winning machines, they can direct you to a 'good' machine. Some machines tend to pay out more than others, and it never hurts to get an opportunity to try your luck.
Be pleasant, polite, and treat them well, and don't be afraid to ask them for advice. On the other hand, they aren't fortune tellers, they don't know when, or if, the machine will 'hit' while you playing it.
There is a huge coca cola bottle situated next to the MGM Grand Hotel where you can buy same day tickets for shows at apparently 1/2 price. We were going to try and get tickets here for a show but didnt make it back into Vegas in time.
The ticket booth is open from 12 noon
There are different ways to book your hotel room... you can book directly through hotel reservations (phone or internet), or you can use a third party such as a travel agent or an internet site (ie Hotels.com)
Having been behind the front desk, I have seen how different reservations are handled. Of course, you want to comparison shop, but if at all possible, I would book directly through the hotel. If there is a problem with your reservation, it is easier to deal with internal reservations. Plus, these may be upgraded first in cases of room assignments when overbooked.
With third party bookings, these are of a lower priority because, honestly, they are usually the cheapest. If there is a problem with your res, then the third party must be contacted to amend the issue. Other problems arise with requests, like "non-smoking room" or "king size bed". THESE ARE ONLY REQUESTS and are not guaranteed. When you make a reservation, you are ONLY booking a room, that's it.
Las Vegas is sometimes known as a city for "High Rollers," but many of us are just regular working-class people looking for a little fun without paying a high price tag.
Employees/ Locals that work in Vegas have the same dilemma, working-class folks just trying to make a decent living. I always try to remember that as much fun as I am having they are working. Even a little tip can go a long way.
These are not written in stone or anything, I just like to give a little something to let them know I appreciate it.
Bell Man $2-3 per bag
Bell Desk $2 per bag
Shuttle Bus Driver $2-3 per bag
Restaurant 10-20% (depending on the service)
Taxi Cab Drivers $3-5 or $2 per bag
Housekeeper $5-8 per day
Room Service (most hotels the gratuity is added onto the bill, but if you are feeling especially generous, like if of you won big at the BlackJack Table $3-5!)
Compared with other parts of the world tips are Expected and 10 to 15 % is typical .
As a result the service is generally good though .
They can be sarcastic if there is no tip e.g. A cab driver " thanked" me for my very small tip --- hadn't spoken to us or even said Hi as we got in ------
I said I have a big tip for you -------------
" Speak to your ******* customers and be pleasant for once !!"
It made my day :))))
Typically in the casinos drinks are free. HOWEVER, you still must tip ($1+USD) per drink. If you do not tip the cocktail waitresses you probably will not see them again.
Also, many of the waitresses and bartenders will wait on the men and ignore women only groups. Just be vocal and tip and you'll probably see them again. If you don't get the service you want just go to the next casino. There are plenty of waitresses who would love to wait on you and another casino who won't mind taking your money! :)