To tip or not to tip? This is always the question visitors ponder when the dreaded subject comes up. With tourism driving the economy in Vegas and over 38 million people visiting every year, the entertainment and service industry are the largest employers in Las Vegas. Naturally, these workers depend on tips in order to protect their lifestyle. Most, including cocktail waitresses and dealers are paid just the minimum wage by their employers.
So how much do you tip? And must you tip everyone? Keep in mind that in the end, it’s important to tip on what you believe is appropriate based on your actual experience.
The Casino Cocktail Waitress:
No matter where you go in Las Vegas, you will find a cocktail waitress at any time of the day or night serving those guests that are busy gambling. While the drinks are free, it’s easy to think that she is providing a complimentary service and you are expected to give nothing in return. However, it is recommended that you tip, on average, one dollar per drink. The bartender received 20 percent tip-out at the end of the evening, so the more you tip, chances are, she will come around more often and make your order a priority.
Verdict: $1 is ok, but $2-$5 is much better depending on the casino and how often you want the waitress to bring you more drinks.
Even the top casinos in town rarely pay their dealers more than minimum wage, so tips are important. Standard tipping etiquette says dealers should receive at the minimum, $5 dollars per hour yet there is no official rule. However, if winning big, a five to ten percent tip is expected, after all, the dealer did produce the winning hand. For an added dose of good luck, many visitors say they tip their dealer a few dollars before they even begin.
Are you seeing the show of your dreams in Vegas, but disappointed with your seats? It’s a good idea to bring anywhere from $20 to $100 dollars and politely ask if any better seats, closer to the stage, are available. Chances are, you will be moved. With more expensive shows, like Elton John or Celine Dion, be prepared to pay closer to the $100 tip.
If your hotel concierge went above what you requested, such as finding tickets to a sold out show, or making dinner reservations at a top restaurant during peak dining hours, then a tip should be forthcoming. Depending on the situation, a minimum of $20 would be satisfactory.
When it’s the middle of summer and the temperature is over 100 degrees, valets continue to run back and forth to bring the endless stream of cars to the hotel guests. Again, tips are what valets work for since most earn minimum wage. Because parking is free in Vegas, and hotels offer free valet service, a tip from two to five dollars seems appropriate when you consider how much you are saving on parking fees. If you have special requirements, such as you want your car parked in a certain location, then it’s suggested to tip more.
Perhaps one of the more thankless jobs in Las Vegas, there is no doubt maid service is a nice benefit whenever you stay in a hotel. The average stay in Las Vegas is 3.6 nights and depending on the condition you leave the room, tipping the maid should be expected. The general amount can range anywhere from two to five dollars per day.
If you decide to depend on a bellman to bring up your luggage, plan to tip anywhere from one to five dollars per bag depending on the weight or if you have a special request. If you have a large group, a porterage fee may apply. Even if you are not in a group but use an entire bell cart, this fee may still be attached.