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.
- What is the legal age for gambling?
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.
- Can my spouse / child / friend who is under 21 gamble with me if I'm over 21?
- Under what obscure circumstances can someone under the age of 21 legally gamble in Las Vegas?
Since this STILL seems to be our most commonly asked question we would like
to reiterate: First, RE-READ PREVIOUS ANSWER! It says NO ONE
under the age of 21 is legally permitted to gamble or to loiter in or about
ANY gambling area under ANY circumstances. They WILL be asked for
picture ID and likely escorted out of the area or off the property, or in
some circumstances conceivably even arrested and fined, if caught.
The law is the law.
We do hope this finally serves to answer this question completely.
- It does NOT matter if an over 21 spouse, parent, concubine or nursemaid
constantly accompanies them, holds their hand, pushes, drags or carries them.
- It does NOT matter if your 21st birthday is coming up next week.
- It does NOT matter if you were just married, divorced, or neutered.
- It does NOT matter if you are over 21 in "dog years".
- It does NOT matter if you have only days left to live and will likely never
make it to your 21st birthday.
- It does NOT matter if you're from another state, country or planet where
gambling is permitted under the age of 21.
- It does NOT matter if your father is ruler of his own country or your
mother is a famous actress.
- It does NOT even matter if you plan to gamble an amount equivalent
to the Gross National Product of a small country.
See also: Under 21 Clubs in Las Vegas.
See also: "What is the legal drinking age?" and how to determine your birthday below.
- What is the legal drinking age? Other liquor laws?
- Can I get into Clubs and Lounges if I am under drinking age?
- Are you allowed to drink alcohol on the Las Vegas Strip?
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. Again, as previously mentioned,
over-intoxication and dirorderly 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 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!
- What is the current law about smoking in Las Vegas Casinos, Bars, Restaurants?
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.
- What's the weather like in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is located in the high Mohave Desert. Deserts are renown for their
extreme daily temperatures and Las Vegas is no exception to that rule. Summer
temperatures soar over 110F / 43C in the day to 68F / 20C in the evenings.
Winter temperatures 60F / 16C in the day to 34F / 1C in the evenings. Humidity
is low, producing what people call "a dry heat". Less than 4 inches of rain
fall annually in Las Vegas which makes this a perfect spot for sightseeing and
picture taking. Fall and spring are generally breezy and mild, but are also
prone to 'flash flooding' where an inch or more of rain can blanket the valley
in less than an hour and run-off to the lower areas causing major traffic
tie-ups in the process. When driving under these conditions NEVER enter a
large puddle or fast flowing water on a roadway or parking area unless you can
see the bottom or other comparable vehicles making it through safely. Standing
water is often far deeper than it appears. Even many locals who mistakenly
think they can make it, need to be rescued annually from water stranded vehicles.
Also see Las Vegas Weather Central for
more detailed tables.
- I'm looking for a listing of hotels, where can I find
You can find a listing of all hotels, motels and RV Parks by clicking on our Las Vegas Hotels category
from here or our home page. 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
and other outlying areas.
- What should I pack for clothing, is there a
dress code in the show rooms?
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
- I want to bring my pet, do any hotels accept pets?
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
category. There are also many very cooperative, short-term pet boarding
facilities around town.
- I'm looking for inexpensive transportation while
visiting, is there a city bus?
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.
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 Albertson stores kiosks and other locations around
town as well as at the Regional Transportation Commission Website..
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
For information on renting a car, hiring a limo or something cool to drive,
check out our Rental Vehicles category.
- We're bringing the kids, is there anything for the children to do while we're on vacation?
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 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.
- Can you tell me more about the the City and Las Vegas Strip curfews for those under 18?
Can a 17 year old be out after curfew with an 18 year old friend?
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 Season||School Holidays & Summer Vacation|
|Sun - Thurs||10pm to 5am||Midnight to 5am|
|Fri - Sat||Midnight 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.
- I heard that Las Vegas has legal brothels, is that
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
- I'm interested in seeing a Las Vegas show when I visit, what's
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
- We're heading to Las Vegas next month, where can we find some
coupons or discounts to save some money?
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. Also check
out the Deals, Steals & Free Stuff
on our site that you can get by making your travel plans online. You can find
lots more sources of free informational stuff as well as some excellent coupon
books for purchase which will save you hundreds of dollars on a visit in our
Free Stuff category.
- How do I get a divorce in Las Vegas?
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, however, especially if you are not
intimately familiar with all the ramifications and terms mentioned above, it
is STRONGLY recommended that you contact one before persuing either process
to discuss your particular situation. The
Nevada Bar Association will be happy to refer you to a qualified lawyer.
- How did Las Vegas get its name and how many people live
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.
- I heard you get a better seat in the showroom with a good tip, can you
explain tipping policies in Las Vegas?
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
Restaurants: 15% Standard Service; 20% Good Service
Bars: .50-$1.50 per drink per round for cocktail servers or bartenders.
As would be expected, a higher tip, brings quicker service on the next round.
Some venues require bartenders and servers pool (share) tips, while most
casino cocktail waitresses do not. And now, the it-SHOULD-be-obvious Tip: for
best service, pay up and tip well as each round is delivered rather than
waiting and saving it up until you leave. This tactic also ensures that the
current helpful server actually gets their well-earned tip instead of,
possibly, a shift-change replacement who just came on duty.
Hotels: Bellmen $1-$2 per bag; Maid Service $1-$2 per day; Pool Attendants $1-$2.
Casinos: Tip a few chips of the denomination your playing to your
dealer if you win or a couple dollars
to the change person or up to 7% to the Keno Runner, if you win big.
Taxis & Limos: 15%-20% depending on how helpful they are and
how they handle your luggage.
Concierge: Tip with your conscience $2-$3 for standard show or
restaurant reservations. Getting you VIP passes for a top night club: $5-10.
Finding you tickets for the sold out concert tonight: pricele$$
Valet: $1-$2 for getting your car quickly.
I still have a question... click here. We'd love to hear from you!
- What time zone is Las Vegas in?
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!
Be sure to double check your return email address to ensure a reply.
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