9 Things People Really Believe About Las Vegas That Are Definitely Not True

9 Things People Really Believe About Las Vegas That Are Definitely Not True

New York New York Resort in Las Vegas at night.

Las Vegas is a city built on improbable stories. From tall tales about gambling wins to anecdotes where the protagonist woke up in an ice-filled bath missing a kidney, it’s hard to differentiate fact from fiction. Even the buildings lie. Sure, you can see Caesars Palace from Circus Circus and it looks like a 15 minute walk away… its really not!

So, in an attempt to steer you on the right path, I’m going to debunk some myths and assure you that much of what you hear about Sin City is, at best, misguided. Also, check out my Vegas Guide for some more handy hints and tips.

I. Casinos pump oxygen in through the vents to keep you awake and gambling.

No, no they don’t. This myth is as old as the city itself. Firstly, even a small increase in the oxygen content of the air creates a fire risk that no resort would consider worth the extra dollars at the table. It’s also illegal for several other reasons, including violation of public health codes, and would be incredibly expensive given the size of the casino floors.

Casinos do employ some tricks and manipulate the environment to keep you entertained. The lack of clocks and visible daylight reduce your awareness of the passing of time and the free drinks are not really free if you’re ploughing coins into a slot machine. But, rest assured, they’re not secretly drugging you.

2. People only go there to gamble, there’s nothing else to do.

I’d genuinely struggle to think of a city with more things to do than Las Vegas. Gambling is a major income source but hotel rooms, food, beverage and entertainment together far outweigh the casino floor spend. And when you consider, for example, that slot machines return an average of 94% of their money to the customer, the total gambling income is not all kept by the resort.

Away from the tables, Vegas offers top class dining from renowned chefs, shows featuring the biggest names in entertainment, bars with unbeatable views and a host of exhibitions and museums. Away from the resort properties you can shoot guns, hire a Lamborghini, skydive, zipline, pedal along a railway line, shop till you drop or fly around in a helicopter. Travel a little outside the city and discover stunning national parks, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, the hottest place on earth or even aliens at Area 51.

3. The games are all fixed, you’ll never win.

The truth is, playing long term, statistically you’re gonna lose. There’s no denying that every casino game has an inbuilt advantage for the house. How do you think they pay the dealers wages, the free booze and all that neon?

That said, people win every day and there is no reason that it can’t be you. Play games with a higher winning margins, learn basic strategy (and stick to it), play in casinos or areas with statistically proven better return percentages and, most importantly, know when to walk away. Ultimately, treat your gambling budget as entertainment money and you’ll, at the very least, walk away happy.

4. It’s just a bunch of mega resorts, no small businesses.

Again, this is the impression you get from from websites selling holidays or getting a kickback from the big players. There are a ton of people living in the fastest growing city of the USA who have opened their own small, and not so small enterprises and thrived on local trade as well as tourism.

From ‘Mom and Pop’ diners to boutique hotels, there’s a wealth of independent traders making a good living and, quite often delivering better products at cheaper prices. Some of my favourites include Donut Bar, Stage Door, Double Down Saloon and the many shops to be discovered in the Arts District.

5. You’ll get ill if you eat at a buffet.

Yes, you might… but the will be because you’ve eaten too much. Buffets are cheap but that’s more to do with economies of scale than the quality of the food or the standard of preparation. There’s also the fact that, after you’ve stuffed yourself, you’ll probably not want to move too far so will stay and spend money in that resort.

Vegas buffets vaey greatly in price and range of food available. They’re a great way of sampling a myriad of dishes that you’d never normally order and a great solution for a group who all want different food for dinner. Las Vegas food outlets are regulated by the Food Standards Agency and every business has a rating certificate on display.

6. Las Vegas is hot and sunny all year round.

This is another that’s almost true, but comes with a warning. Summer is beyond hot and much of Autumn and Spring is dry and warm, at least in daytime.

Las Vegas is situated in the middle of a desert and, as such, has incredibly variable temperatures. Even in Winter the daytime can feel warm but, as soon as the sun sets, a 20 degree drop is not uncommon. With 294 completely sunny days a year and less than 26 rainy days you’d be unlucky to have the weather spoil your holiday, but bring sun screen and a jacket, just in case.

Oh, and it does snow around once a year too, for like 10 minutes!

7. Prostitution is legal and there’s hookers everywhere.

Prostitution is very much illegal in Las Vegas and all of Clark County despite what you may hear. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist, but exercise extreme caution or take a trip to one of the infamous ‘Bunny Ranches’ out of town… You can even just go for a tour!

8. Las Vegas is prohibitively expensive.

Truth is, it can be. Drinks at Sky Bar, a meat at Joël Robuchon, tickets for Celine Dion and a penthouse suite at Venetian will do serious damage to you wallet.

Alternatively, drinks at Downtown Cocktail Room, dinner at Herbs & Rye, catching Celestia at Strat and a Luxe room at Plaza will set you back around 10% of the previous total.

For the ultimate bargain night out, drinks at a casino video poker bar, dinner at McDonald’s, the Bellagio Fountain show and a room at Four Queens will be under $50 dollars and still a better experience than most other big cities on earth.

9. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Sadly, due to the incessant proliferation of social media outlets, vloggers and CCTV, this is no longer the case. But a simple, “It’s Vegas, baby”, is generally all you need as an excuse for most misdemeanours. If you know, you know!

One thought on “9 Things People Really Believe About Las Vegas That Are Definitely Not True

  1. A great article, dispelling many ‘alternative facts’ as a notable former president might call them… fake news to you and I!

    Really enjoyed the read!

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