Las Vegas Leisure Guide

Frequently Asked Questions about Las Vegas

Las Vegas Leisure Guide receives hundreds of emailed questions a month from people planning their visit to Las Vegas. Here are a few of the more common ones. Yes, some may appear to be overly detailed, but this is due to the myriad of actual detailed questions we have received over the years. If after reading this page you find you still have an inquiry, please click on the link at the bottom for a personal reply.

At the current time the legal age for gambling or gaming in the State of Nevada is 21 years of age. There have been rumors that local goverment officials are considering reducing it to 18. If that happens this is the first place you will read about it, but until then assume it is still 21. Casinos are expected to adhere to very strict rules to maintain their gaming licenses. No one under the age of 21 is allowed in the casino area nor allowed to linger in the casino area while a parent is gambling. If under 21, passing through gaming areas to access other facilities should be done only via the designated paths often indicated by a lack of carpeting and/or along outer walls away from gambling devices.

Any person under 21 who plays and wins a hand-payable jackpot will routinely be asked for ID for tax purposes and if discovered as underage the jackpot is automatically forfeited. Don't try to switch places with an older friend as it is also routine to check the overhead camera recordings on most jackpots to see who was actually playing the machine when it hit.

Most casinos do not allow photography of any type in the gaming machine or table areas. A few expressly permit it. Another strictly enforced rule is no use of cellular telephones in the sports book betting areas.

Not surprisingly, this is our second most asked series of questions. The legal age to consume alcohol in Las Vegas is 21 years of age. Before you ask: This means you can legally drink AND/OR purchase alcoholic drinks if your accepted photo ID (Drivers license, military ID or passport) confirms you were born 21 years or more prior to the current date (please see also answer to prior question above concerning legal gambling age exceptions).

YES, you may legally start drinking at the stroke of midnight in Las Vegas (Pacific Time Zone) (regardless of your location of birth or current home residence) initiating the date matching your birthdate stated on your accepted photo ID; whether or not you will be able to enter the drinking establishment to start your birthday party BEFORE midnight will rely on the particular situation (see below) or integrity of the door person or bartender.

NO, you may NOT legally purchase alcohol and give it to your friends or family under the age of 21 - this is called, amongst other things, 'corrupting a minor' and can result in immediate arrest and a lengthy trial.

YES, with very few exceptions, most restaurants which serve food as well as alcohol DO permit underage persons inside to EAT (NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL) especially when accompanied by a guardian of legal drinking age, but only in the dining areas of the establishment and only during times that food is being served, but never in the bar area when there is a separate bar area defined (often designated by a full or partial wall or railing); inquire in advance, when making reservations or upon entry to be sure. In nearly all cases your under 21 friends and family will NOT be permitted in nightclubs or bars unless they are specifically indicated as "Under 21" clubs, where NO alcohol is served.

NO, if you are under 21, you may NOT drink alcohol at casino production shows and concerts even when drinks are included in the price of the show ticket and persons under 21 are admitted. Soft drinks and bottled water are almost always available in such cases.

Las Vegas, Nevada does have very liberal liquor laws, and we certainly don't want to discourage anyone having a good time, but you should be forewarned that there are stiff penalties for DRIVING under the influence, and disorderly conduct STARTING from a minimum mandatory 24-72 hours in jail, $1000's in fines AND 6 months revocation of your drivers license (which is typically notified to your home state as well). Driving with any tested Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or above (which is conceivably as little as 2-3 average drinks, pints or shots - Far lower limits apply if you're under 21) or evidence of any of a LONG list of controlled substances without a prescription, can be prosecuted as DUI or DWI. Second offenses, or any offense involving death or serious injury, command exponentially higher penalties. You and passengers can also be fined or arrested for the mere presence of an UNSEALED container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a private vehicle unless it is ENTIRELY empty... in which case it is generally considered recycling or a souvenir - YOU figure it out. Limos and buses are generally excluded from this rule, so check with the professional driver to be sure. Police operated "Sobriety Checkpoints" are common near special events and on busy holidays. Nearly identical laws apply when operating any powered watercraft, such as on Lake Mead, regarding driving and drinking and are enthusiastically enforced by park police. Our sincere recommendation is, if you intend to drink assign a Designated Driver (DD), walk, take a taxi, hire a limousine or use public transportation for the evening. If you should ever find yourself charged with a Nevada DUI or DWI offense DO contact a Nevada based attorney ASAP through the local yellow pages or bar association, preferably before you leave town, as Nevada DUI laws can be substantially different from many other states.

Although it is offically NOT allowed per the law books, drinking on public sidewalks and other areas on the Strip and Downtown is rarely if ever enforced. Thus it is entirely common to consume alcohol in public areas, including the public sidewalks within the Las Vegas city limits which includes all of Downtown, The Strip and close-by areas.

Due to some currently developing (Mid-2014), and seemingly constantly changing new laws, rules in the area Downtown along Fremont Street, can now vary from block to block and may or may not permit movement of drinks or certain containers purchased on one city block to the next or even out the establishment door. In some cases even the establishment owners and authorities are not always sure or in agreement as to what the rules are that week or on the next block, so if you want to be absolutely safe, ask the owner AND a law enforcement officer, or drink up before leaving the property where you bought it (unless it is a gift shop in which case it will likely be posted that you can't even open it until you leave Fremont Street entirely... see what we mean about new complicated rules?).

As previously mentioned, over-intoxication and disorderly conduct is frowned upon, so stay within your own limits. On special occasions (New Years Eve and Independence Day for example) there may be bans on glass bottles and/or aluminum cans for the Strip and the Downtown area. Plastic cups and sports bottles are allowed at these times and are either provided at point of purchase or often available at hotel/casino exit doors. When inside a casino or hotel there is seldom any restrictions on carrying drinks from one bar, restaurant or playing location to another with the exception of some showrooms and theaters where it will be clearly posted. Individual shops may also have rules about carrying in food and drink of any kind.

The town of North Las Vegas, Henderson and other outlying areas have very DIFFERENT regulations forbidding removal of alcohol from bars, etc. so check with your host or doorman if in doubt. Many bars and liquor stores are open 24 hours a day. There are also special posted laws for convenience stores, grocery stores and other retail liquor outlets restricting consumption in the immediate vacinity.

Most of all, always remember to drink responsibly and realize that the hot, dry desert air in the summer months can have very adverse health affects on people consuming alcohol such as rapid dehydration and deadly heat stroke, even after dark.
Drink plenty of water as well!
Due to new laws voted into existence by the residents in Jan 2007, the following smoking rules currently apply. All floor spaces inside ALL large casino (generally those casinos exceeding 15 slot machines), strip clubs and standalone bars not serving food are exempt from the law and SMOKING IS PERMITTED. Restaurants inside casinos are non-smoking. Nightclubs and lounges are not required to ban smoking as long as they do not serve food. For all other stand alone restaurants, bars, convenience stores, grocery stores and airport facilities smoking is banned in all establishments which sell food other than prepackaged snacks. This ban will be obvious in most places by the absence of ashtrays and the required clearly posted signs. In most cases smoking areas may be provided outdoors, always ask your server as various options are almost always available. The penalty can be a $100-$600 ticket if caught by authorities. Although, to be honest, at the time of this writing in 2009, in practice there is extremely lax official enforcement in most informal off-strip locations due to a lack of enforcement personnel and some will even offer ashtrays "at your own risk" if you ask for one.

Smoking IS still permitted in any stand alone bar or club (with or without gambling machines) which do NOT serve food other than pre-packaged snacks (i.e. chips, pretzels, candybars). Although a gray area, many smoking-permitted bars which do not serve food will not "object" to you "carrying" food in from adjacent/attached non-smoking restaurants. Ask. Many stand alone restaurants now also provide a physically separated (i.e. separate entry doors and separately ventilated) non-smoking dining area and a smoking-permitted bar/gaming area to accomodate both smokers and non-smokers.

See Las Vegas Weather Central for detailed tables and current weather forecasts.
You can find a listing of all hotels, motels and RV Parks by clicking on our Las Vegas Hotels category. Room brokers and featured properties are listed on the first page of this section with every hotel listed by location on linked pages. They offer the best prices in town. Many offer complimentary coupons which will save you big bucks during your visit or additional discounts for booking online. We also maintain complete listings of Laughlin Hotels, Mesquite Hotels and other outlying areas.
Las Vegas is hot in the summer and cool in the winter but the dress is normally casual. Casual means shorts, t-shirts, golf shirts, sundresses and jeans. Las Vegas receives less than 4 inches of rain all year. Rain is very unlikely during your visit. We may get a once-a-winter dusting of snow sometime in January but it melts within minutes. You'll find a select few show rooms and gourmet dining establishments require a more dressy attire like a cocktail dress or a dinner jacket and of course don't forget your clubbing attire if you plan on hitting the plentiful Vegas nightlife locations later in the evening. Most dance clubs have a dress code which can vary widely by the time of day and by how busy they are at the time and which may or may not exclude sneakers or athletic shoes, shorts, T-shirts, torn clothing, bras, too much or too little clothing in general and often depends on the whim of the particular door person and how quickly you want to get promoted through the line and which line you're in. Elsewhere, it is always a good idea to bring a sweater or light coat because even though it is warm outside, the air conditioning inside the casinos can be chilly. Just before you leave you can check on the weather from our Las Vegas Weather page. Good walking shoes are appropriate if you plan on doing any sightseeing. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to keep the desert sunrays at bay!
Yes, several properties do accept small pets. You will notice the hotels which allow pets by the small dog icon next to their listing found on our Hotel Rooms category. There are also many very cooperative, short-term pet boarding facilities around town.
The Citizens Area Transit (CAT) bus is our local bus transporation. They offer rides from the airport, down the Las Vegas Strip and into Downtown as well as out to the suburbs of town. The CAT bus costs $2-3 along the Strip and $2 around other parts of town. Multi-hour and multi-day passes are available but mostly not on the bus. They must be purchased in advance at 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Check City, Circle K, Moneytree or Walgreen stores and assorted other locations and kiosks around town as well as at the Regional Transportation Commission Website. You can contact 702-228-RIDE (7433) for the one nearest your location. The buses run from Downtown along the Strip every 10 minutes.

We also have the Las Vegas Strip Trolley which travels from Downtown to the Strip and back. It stops at each major hotel / casino every 15 minutes. You must have the exact fare of $1.40, though.

The Monorail which is now running follows the Strip corridor and costs $5 to ride one way (on at any station and off at any station), $9 for two boardings (2 people or 1 round trip) or $15 for an unlimited 24-hour pass. Children under 5 are free. Currently, it winds from The MGM Hotel to the Sahara Hotel (From Tropicana to Sahara Ave) in about 13 minutes with 7 stations along the way including the LV Convention Center, and operates approximately every 5-10 minutes from 7am - 2am (3am on weekends). There are plans to someday extend to downtown and McCarran Airport but the monorail does NOT currently go to either location at this time.

Taxi fare is $2.20 for the first mile plus $1.50 for each additional mile and $0.35 a minute for waiting regardless of the number of passengers. As a rough guide, each major Las Vegas strip street (Tropicana, Flamingo, Desert Inn, Sahara and Charleston) is about a mile from the next, so on a low traffic day a trip for 4, the length of the main strip, from Tropicana to Sahara Ave, should run about $6-7 + tip. Taxi pickups at the airport incur an additional airport fee.
For information on renting a car, hiring a limo or something cool to drive, check out our Rental Vehicles category.
YES! Although the casinos would prefer you stayed indoors without children, Las Vegas and the surrounding area is alive with many activities for the whole family. Over a half dozen National Parks are just a short drive from the Strip, we also have incredible parks, race themed attractions, river rafting, factory tours, hiking, horseback riding, snow sports, water sports, petting zoos, game arcades and much much more. Check out our Attractions category, our Tour Reservations category and our Recreation and Sports category for complete listings. There are also a very limited number of Under 21 Dance Clubs around. Be aware that there is a curfew for children on the Strip and any other public place; from 10pm Sunday thru Thursday (until 5am the following day) and midnight (9pm on or near The Strip) on all Fridays & Saturdays, local school holidays and during summer vacation (until 5am the following day) all children age 18 and under must be accompanied by their "parent or legal guardian or a responsible person over the age of 21 approved by the child's parent or legal guardian". (ref:Clark County Municipal Code Title: 12.12). More details below.
The exact wording of the curfew law is covered in the Clark County Municipal Code Title 12.12 and is quite extensive.
To Quote in part:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it is unlawful for any child under the age of eighteen years to be in or upon any public street, sidewalk, highway, park, vacant lot or other public place between the hours of ten p.m., Sunday through Thursday and five a.m. of the succeeding day, and between the hours of twelve midnight on Friday and Saturday and five a.m. of the succeeding day.
(b)On all school holidays and during the days of summer vacation, said curfew shall be between the hours of twelve midnight and five a.m. for all citizens under the age of eighteen years.

Further down, under "Exceptions:", it states:
The following shall constitute valid exceptions to the operation of the curfew:
(a) If the child is accompanied by his or her parent, or other responsible person who is over the age of twenty-one and approved by the child's parent or legal guardian;
(b) If the child is legally employed, for the period from one-half hour before to one-half hour after work, while going directly between his or her home and place of employment. This exception shall also apply if the child is in a public place during curfew hours in the course of his or her employment. To come under this exception, the child must be carrying a written statement from the employer attesting to the place and hours of employment;
(c) If the child is coming directly home from a meeting or a place of public entertaining, such as a movie, play or sporting event, or from a school, social or religious activity. This exception will apply for one-half hour after the completion of such event, but in no case beyond one a.m.;
(d) If the child is, with the consent of his or her parent or legal guardian, engaged in interstate travel;
(e) If the child is on an emergency errand.

Therefore, unless one of the above-listed exceptions apply, curfew rules dictate no one under 18 may be out alone during the following hours:
School SeasonSchool Holidays & Summer Vacation
Sun - Thurs10pm to 5amMidnight to 5am
Fri - SatMidnight to 5am*Midnight to 5am*

If you are attending an event covered in the exception list, be sure to save your ticket stub or other attendance evidence to avoid hassles. Police officers can, and frequently do, stop and penalize suspected curfew evaders.

*In addition, all public roads, walkways and parking lots in the following locations: Las Vegas Blvd S from Sahara to Sunset Rd (The Strip), Harmon Ave, Dunes/Flamingo Rd, Spring Mtn/Sands, Stardust Rd, Convention Center Dr, Riviera Blvd, & Circus Circus Dr (all within a block either side of The Strip) have an even earlier curfew time of 9pm on Friday, Saturday and legal holidays year-round and 6pm on December 31.

As far as who may legally accompany the minor as a valid exception - they must either be the minors parent or legal guardian, or considered a "responsible person over the age of 21" approved by the parent or legal guardian. Thus minors under 18 definitely would NOT be permitted to stay out past curfew with only an older sibling or friend between the ages of 18 and 21.
Las Vegas is located in Clark County. Clark County does not have legal prostitution therefore there are no brothels in Las Vegas. As of this update in February 2009 there is "discussion" of legalizing it in the city of Las Vegas, but don't hold your breath. Other Nevada counties do allow legal prostitution. Nye County being the closest to Las Vegas (45 minute drive) provides many legal and strictly licensed brothels. A complete listing of the nearest ones may be found on our Las Vegas Nightlife Page under Brothels
Las Vegas has so many entertainment venues, that we are called the "Entertainment Capitol of the World". You can find an up-to-date listing of ALL production shows, concerts, headliners (top name stars) and special events by clicking on our Las Vegas Shows category. Also check out our Las Vegas News for tourists section which exposes breaking Vegas celebrity news and reviews current shows!
You came to the right place, many coupons can be found right on our site. (Note: You MUST have a printer attached to your computer to print them - we can NOT send them). First, be sure to bookmark our ever-popular section of totally free Las Vegas coupons which you can print out and bring with you.
Las Vegas, Nevada is home to thousands of weddings each year, but many years ago we were also renown for the quickie divorce. Laws have changed a bit and you must now be a Clark County resident for at least 6 weeks prior to filing for a divorce. Wait another 6 weeks after filing and the divorce will become final barring any complications. The process is far simpler and cheaper when both spouses agree and there are no children involved. Keep in mind however that Nevada is considered a 'community property' state. This means most prenuptial contracts are void, and spouses are expected to share equally in joint assets. Therefore, half of that lottery you won last week, half of the ancestrial mansion you inherited while married and half that Maserati you splurged on with your recent gambling winnings (as well as half of any debts acquired while married), automatically belongs to your spouse!

An annulment, recently popularized by a certain well-known singing star, on the other hand, dissolves the marriage as though it never occured and requires only that you were married in Nevada or one spouse or the other currently resides here. An annulment takes only about 6 weeks, but requires detailed reasons and qualifications and is NOT guaranteed. In this case time is of the essence and generally the sooner after the marriage it is persued the more likely it is to be granted. Acceptable grounds include underage, intoxication, insanity, blood relatedness and significant material misrepresentation. Neither process ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES the participation of an attorney and in fact kits may be purchased with all the forms and instructions needed to accomplish this, such as this convenient all-online resource:
Need to File for a Divorce?
(Tip: ENTER OUR SECRET CODE: CJ15OFF for an additional $15 off this month only)

However, especially if you are not intimately familiar with all the ramifications and terms mentioned above, it is STRONGLY recommended that you at least contact and talk with a lawyer before persuing either process yourself to discuss your particular situation. The Nevada Bar Association will be happy to refer you to a qualified lawyer.
The Las Vegas oasis was first noticed in 1829 by Spanish explorers. They named this valley "Las Vegas" which means "the meadows." Mormon settlers arrived shortly thereafter and made this area home. The town itself was founded in 1905 but did not begin its incredible growth spurt until Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. Since that time Nevada has been one of the fastest growing states in the Union. At over 1.4 million residents in the 2000 census and 1.8 millionn estimated in 2007, Las Vegas area is intent on being the #1 vacation destination and entertainment mecca in the world.
A few showrooms still use maitre d's for seating and a tip of $5-$20 will improve your seating position ONLY if seating is not pre-assigned on your ticket. Most showrooms now offer reserved seating where tipping is not necessary, although it is in good taste to give the usher a tip if your tickets are complimentary. You should tip your showroom waitstaff $5-$10 for cocktail shows or $10-$20 for dinner shows on a party of four. Other tipping suggestions are:
Las Vegas is located in the Pacific time zone which is eight hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, is always the same as California and 3 hours behind New York or EST. Nevada participates in Daylight Savings Time which occurs from the second Sunday in March to the First Sunday in November (these dates changed beginning in 2007 - previously they were the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October). Time comes to a halt in Las Vegas, as you will not find a single clock or window in the casinos to tell the time of day. Don't fall prey to the "Las Vegas Syndrome" where the inexperienced loose all track of time and wind up starved and passed out in front of a slot machine. Be sure to eat regular meals, drink in moderation, and get some sleep...we know it isn't easy... in the town that never closes!
You can find out the lastest IGT statewide Progressive Jackpot totals right from IGT here. Megabucks, Quartermania and all the rest are on this page and updated in near real-time. It also shows which casinos offer which games and where the most recent jackpots have hit!
You can always see where to get the Las Vegas Gas PricesLowest Las Vegas Local Gas Prices daily to save more money when filling up that rental car, or for the return trip home.

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