Tipping at Las Vegas Casinos
We've all seen those movies (think Pretty Woman etc.) where the bellboy, valet, room service waiter or cocktail waitress provides a service and stands around waiting while the recipient looks at them dully not comprehending why they are still hanging around. At that point, someone then informs the recipient that they need to provide a tip and they seem surprised...as if they somehow expected all services in upmarket establishments to be free.
Well, it's not. Not in the movies and definitely not in real life. Tipping in Las Vegas is almost as much of the experience as seeing the sites or enjoying your favourite casino game, yet it causes a great deal of confusion among patrons, you just have to read a few trip forums to realize that! "Questions like Should I tip?", "How much should I tip?" and "When should I Tip?" all come up on a regular basis. So we've decided to simplify this seemingly confusing and often contentious issue by discussing just what is expected of you as a Las Vegas Casino patron and guest.
When staying at Las Vegas hotels parking is free, this means that you are generally saving between $25 and $50 per day on parking. With that in mind, you should always tip the valet, especially because he/she has to run a long way in the heat to fetch your car! Generally it is advisable to tip between $5 and $10 dollars which you can either split on drop off and pick up as you’re not always assured of getting the same valet every time.
If of course you have special requests like "keep the car waiting at the front" ‐ then you should tip on the higher end of the scale as the valet will have to go out of his/her way to make this happen.
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Generally when checking into your hotel in Las Vegas your luggage will be taken care of by the bellman that brings it up to your room. The generally accepted tip for the person who does this is between $1 and $10 per bag ‐ if the bags are heavy then the tips should be in the upper range.
As a note of interest ‐ some hotels charge a porterage fee (especially if you are checking-in as a group) that will reflect on your bill and even if you aren't part of a group and request an entire bell-cart for your luggage, this fee may apply too. Still, don't avoid tipping the bellman, just adjust accordingly.
This is one employee that often gets forgotten when it comes to tipping and the majority of people don't realize that they should be tipping the maid for cleaning their room. These people earn minimum wage and often do more work (including cleaning your toilet) than the valets and bellman but earn considerably less given that they earn very few tips.
To tip the maid, some hotels offer specially designated envelopes but if yours doesn't, then leave the money on the bed to indicate that it is a tip. $2 to $10 per day is customary but obviously the more lavish/spacious your room, the higher the tip should be.
The drinks are often complimentary in Las Vegas casinos but that doesn't mean the service is! Yes, tipping is optional but if you want to receive great service with a smile, then you'll want to tip ‐ either upfront or after each round.
Remember, Cocktail waitresses generally work for tips so even though your cocktail, beer, wine, soda or hot beverage is free, you should tip the person bringing it to you. The official "Tipping Guides to Las Vegas" books out there often get it wrong in saying that a $1 tip is sufficient for a table of two to four. This is really stingy considering that most Cocktail Waitresses also have to tip the barman assisting them out of their tips (generally up to 20% of what they earn!) so rather keep the good service coming by tipping at least $1 per drink or up to $5 per drink if the service is excellent. Also remember that if you want a glass of wine with a glass of ice that is technically two drinks filling up her tray, so you should tip per drink!
Also keep in mind when allocating a tip that if you're ordering drinks at a busy time or are ordering a hot drink like tea, coffee or hot chocolate, then the waitress may take longer to get back to you and shouldn't be penalised for it by decreasing her tip.
Hand Pay Casino Staff & Games Dealers
If you're lucky enough to win a jackpot at the casino you will often receive a hand pay where a member of the casino's staff will come to you and arrange that your winnings be paid out to you. It is important to remember to tip this person for their efforts. Generally winners tip around $20 for this service.
When playing table games you should also be mindful to tip the dealers ‐ this is at your discretion and can be done by either giving him/her a chip at the end of a game or by placing a bet on their behalf every hour or so.
As we've mentioned, tipping is at your discretion but it is customary in Vegas and part of good casino etiquette to do so. Not only will this ensure that you get great service, but it is a way to show respect to those making their living of providing a service to you that ultimately helps to make your stay that much more enjoyable. So think twice and be generous, no one likes a cheapskate.