With the WSOP just around the corner, poker players will be descending on Vegas by the plane loads. For those somewhat unacquainted with the city, here are five commonly proliferated myths about Vegas:
1. Vegas is cheap. Certain movies like Vegas Vacation have helped build up a myth that Vegas is rather cheap. All you have to do is gamble a little bit and your meals, hotel and maybe even your flight will be taken care of. This could not be further from the truth. In actuality, Vegas is a very expensive city. In order to get “comped” from your gambling, you have to wager a lot of money (thereby giving up a lot of EV to get those comps). Vegas can be cheap if you stay at run-down downtown hotels and eat fast food while you’re there. But if you want to live any semblance of a nice lifestyle in Sin City, it’s going to cost you. The top-tier hotels are always at least $150 a night, but usually a lot more. The nice restaurants are as expensive as a nice restaurant anywhere. One thing that is free in Vegas is drinks while you are gambling, but if you’re paying retail price, those are expensive too!
2. Vegas is ran by mobsters. Decades ago, this used to be the case. Vegas is famous for having been built by mobsters. But today, the mob has little or no influence on the day to day operations in Las Vegas. Almost every casino in the city is owned by a large, multi-national corporation. Many of these companies are publicly traded (WYNN, LVS, MGM). The days of a mob-controlled Vegas have been over for a long while.
3. [some random slot machine] pays out well. This is a commonly distributed myth by fishy gamblers trying to justify making another bad decision. There are some 200,000 slot machines in Las Vegas and not a single one of them pays out well. A machine that pays out well would give you back more money than you put in over a long sample size. There is not one slot machine in Vegas that does that.
4. There’s nothing to do in Vegas but gamble. One of the best kept secrets of Las Vegas is how entertaining the city is even if you take gambling completely out of the equation. There are a ton of interesting sites, great shows, fantastic restaurants, and high-end shopping in Sin City. There are also great outdoor attractions like hiking and skydiving. Vegas is not just a gambler’s city. It’s a city for everyone! If you or a loved one have been reluctant to go to Vegas on account of thinking there’s nothing to do but gamble, you’re missing out!
5. Prostitution is legal in Las Vegas. Again, this a total myth. Prostitution is as illegal in Las Vegas as it is in Topeka, Kansas. There are however some counties in Nevada that allow licensed brothels. These establishments are the only places where you can find legal prostitution in the entire U.S.! But you won’t see any of them in Las Vegas; prostitution is illegal in Clark County, home to Las Vegas. If you want to find legal prostitution, you’ll have to drive more than an hour of the city into a rural Nevada county.