Friday, August 12, 2016

Your Vegas FAQ

Sin City is shrouded in mystique. The tales are taller than the Stratosphere, legends never die and some things just might be too good to be true. We sifted through your burning Vegas questions and compiled a list of answers to demystify the mysteries, shed the shroud and separate fact from fiction.

Can I walk around Las Vegas with an open alcoholic beverage?
Yes and no. There are really only two areas of the city that do not enforce an open container law. Feel free to frolic about with that yard-long daiquiri within the 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas
Boulevard that constitutes the Strip, between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road. Also, you can walk around under the Fremont Street Experience canopy with open adult beverages. Straying from these areas while drinking will land you a hefty fine. There is one notable exception to this. Even though you spent $12 on that bottle of beer, you can’t take it with you as glass containers are strictly prohibited on Strip sidewalks. Other than that, you are free to shamelessly flaunt your binge drinking in front of the world.

What’s the best way to get around Las Vegas?
There are a number of useful transportation options readily available to Vegas tourists. The Strip is lousy with taxi cabs and ride share companies, so these might be your first choice. However, be sure to keep an eye on the map to avoid the long hauling Vegas cabbies are notorious for.  When traveling between the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, the city-run, double-decker bus line known as the Deuce offers simple transit. With stops in front of nearly all the major Strip resorts and a direct route to Fremont Street, the bus is a fine option. Most riders on that line are other tourists, but it’s still important to keep your belongings close and be aware of your surroundings. For intra-Strip travel, consider the Las Vegas Monorail. Passes are cheap and the service is highly underutilized.

Can my pet come to Vegas with me?
Surprisingly, many of the major Strip resorts offer pet-friendly rooms, including Caesars Palace, The Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood. Some, like Bally’s, even have dog parks on the property. A simple Google search will net you a host of pet-friendly accommodations on and around the Strip.

Do I have to pay taxes on my gambling winnings?
Are you going to report that $20 you walked away from the slot machine with to the IRS? Probably not but the IRS and some states do require you to declare all your winnings as income on your tax return. Conversely, you can write off your gambling losses as itemized deductions. If you win more than $1,200 at once, be it from one hand of blackjack, one spin of the slots or one roll of the dice, you will be required to fill out a W-2G tax form on the spot.

Which game offers the best odds?
The “house edge” occurs because the promised payout and the inherent odds of the game are not the same. The casino does not incur the extra risk. The gambler does. For example, if you bet $20 on the Miami Dolphins to cover the spread at -110 odds, you win $18 should the Fins cover but lose $20 should they not cover. So the important thing is to understand that the odds will never be in your favor. You need to find the game in which you incur the least amount of extra risk. So head over to the craps table. Betting the pass line offers essentially 50-50 odds and pays out accordingly. Try backing up the pass line. This is called an odds bet, which pays off true odds, not casino odds. By playing only the pass line, the casino’s “edge” drops from say 24 percent in a game like the big wheel of fortune to only 1.4 percent.

We hope this helped answer some of your Vegas questions! Ask more questions in the comment section or on our social media pages, and we’ll answer them in the next Vegas FAQ. Until then, you can browse our site for discounted tickets to Vegas’ hottest entertainment!

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