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The World's First Guide to Vegas
from a Real Vegas Cocktail Waitress








Copyright 2005 Cocktaildoll™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


What!  Laws in the land of lawlessness?!  Read on...

Prostitution is illegal.

That's right!  If you find yourself giving that hot chick some cash for showing you the "sin" in Sin City, you better hope you have some left over to bail yourself out of jail.  And if we're gonna be honest here, which is what I'm all about, real hookers are pretty skanky, they do not look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  So here's the thing, if a skanky chick approaches you and asks if you'd like some company, run the other way.  If some hot chick approaches you and asks if you want some company, she's probably an undercover cop, so run the other way.  And if you're looking for some company, don't ask me because you can't afford this booty!  And after I turn you down, don't ask me where else you can find some company because it is illegal for me to give you that information, not that I would know.  You're very likely to hear me say, "I have no idea what you're talking about, but I can have security come over and discuss it with you."  "What about the Chicken Ranch (or the Bunny Ranch, or any other ranch)?" you ask.  Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, which is where Las Vegas is.  Prostitution is legal in Nye County, where all those houses of ill-repute are.  I have no idea how to get there, so don't e-mail me for directions!

Drinking on the street is legal.

OK, I've been corrected.  According to Steve Easley, who teaches an alcohol awareness class, it is legal to have an open container on the strip corridor and downtown.  The strip corridor is on Las Vegas Blvd. between Russell Rd. and Sahara Ave.

Drinking and driving is illegal.

This one almost seems like common sense, but a surprising number of people think it's OK.  Drinking and driving or having an open container in your car is illegal, just like in any other state.  The Blood Alcohol Concentration level for Las Vegas is .08.

Cell phones are prohibited in or near the race and sports books.

This also means no walkie-talkies, computers, hand signals, or anything else that either gives you communication to the outside, or can be seen as suspicious communication.  So if your Aunt Mary calls from Tennessee just to see how you're enjoying Vegas, don't take it personally when a security guard asks you to leave.  People use cell phones to make bets for other people or to check the lines, both which are against the law.

You are also not allowed to use a cell phone at a blackjack table.  Most casinos will allow you to just step back from the table and use it.

Kids are not allowed to hang out with you while you drink or gamble.

If you can't find someone to watch your kids, stay home with them.  That's the responsibility that comes with being a parent.  It is illegal for someone under 21 to loiter where there is gaming or alcohol being served.  That means they can't come to the bar with you while you buy a Coke, they can't stand in line with you at the change booth while you buy a roll of quarters, and they can't sit at a slot machine while you play.  And as long as a minor is with you, employees are not allowed to serve you.  If you're sitting in the Keno lounge with your kid, I can't even bring you a glass of water.  And you are not allowed to make your kids stand in a corner while you finish playing your hand or drink your beer.  You must be with your kids at all times.

So where are kids allowed to go?  Arcades, water parks, restaurants, stores, and all non-gaming or non-alcoholic drinking places.  Kids are allowed in restaurants that serve alcohol as long as entrees are also served (as opposed to just appetizers).  They are not allowed to sit with you in a lounge while you enjoy your beer.  If the cocktail waitress asks you to leave, please don't give her an attitude.  It is the law, and she is required by law to ask you to leave.  If she doesn't, she may actually be fired for not doing her job.

Video cameras, and sometimes still cameras, are not allowed to be used inside the casino.

Video cameras have always been prohibited.  This is not a law, but I don't know any casino that allows it.  The main reason is to protect people's privacies.  As they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  Also, for security reasons.  You may just want a memento of your family's Vegas trip, but there are some who want to get a layout of the casino.  And as always, the casinos are looking for cheating, and video cameras are suspicious tools.  As far as taking pictures, each casino has its own policy, but more and more are banning them too.  The reasons are the same.  Homeland security is a big concern, so don't be surprised if you are told to put away your camera.  Sometimes commercials, news broadcasts, and movies are filmed inside the casinos, but these people have special permits and insurance, which make them exempt from these rules.

Cab drivers are not allowed to pick up or drop off customers on the street.

Have you ever tried to wave down a taxi, only to have the driver wave back and drive right past you?  No, it's not because you're black, it's because it is illegal for them to pick you up (or drop you off) unless you are at a designated taxi stop, like at a hotel or the airport.  Every once in awhile you'll see one break the law, but it's rare.  So next time don't waste half your vacation spending hours standing on the sidewalk, frustrated and cussing at every taxi that ignores you!

Pedestrians do not always have the right of way.

Las Vegas is the 11th most dangerous city for pedestrians (I'm surprised it's not the first!), with the top five most dangerous intersections being on The Strip.  With tourists, cabs, impatient employees, and drunk drivers, it's not surprising pedestrians get hurt or killed on a regular basis.  A lot of times, it's the pedestrian's fault.  People walk against the light, especially when there is a group of people, feeling there is safety in numbers.  A lot of people jaywalk, which is the stupidest thing to do.  Some people just don't pay attention because they're looking around at all the buildings, especially at night when the city is most beautiful with all the lights.  The walkways over The Strip at the most popular intersections have helped a lot, but people still manage to get themselves killed.  So next time you're walking around and you see something across the street that you just have to get to right away, think twice.  You may not only get killed making a dash for it, but your family won't get compensated for your stupidity either.

Green light go, red light stop, and other traffic laws.

I know what it's like to be a clueless tourist, and sometimes that means driving like an idiot.  You don't know where you're going, the signs are confusing, and you have so many distractions around you.  That's why it's even more important to pay attention.  When the light turns red, stop.  When it turns green, go.  If you're at a red light in the far right lane and discover that you're supposed to be in the far left turning lane, don't put on your blinker and try to make it across three lanes, blocking traffic.  Just go straight and either go around the block, or make a U-turn at the next street.  Go with the flow of traffic; don't put your brakes on every few seconds to point and ooh and ahh at every building.

It is legal to turn right at a red light unless there is a red arrow.  You have to stop and wait for a green arrow before you can go.  I've seen cars run these because it is frustrating to have to wait for the green light when it's such a habit to turn if no traffic is coming.  Most people are so used to turning on a red that they don't pay attention to the signs that say "No Turn On Red," and they'll either go, or if they're behind another car, they'll honk at them to go.  I see people do this every single day as I'm driving to and from work.  If you do run this light, you will get a ticket if you're caught.  And you may get killed too, because there are a lot of blind intersections.

Vegas is on Pacific time.

My sister, who lives in Los Angeles and has been to Vegas hundreds of times, still asks me, "What time is it over there?"  I really, really want to smack her.

And yes, we do follow that damn daylight saving time crap.

There are no clocks or drinking fountains in a casino.

The last thing a casino wants is for people to say, "Oh, gotta go!"  So wear your watch.  Also, there are no drinking fountains, so you'll have to get a water from a cocktail waitress or from a bar, or buy a bottled water in a gift shop.

Objects in the mirror are farther than they appear.

You're standing in front of the Mirage, looking around, then suddenly spot the pyramid and say, "Hey, there's Luxor, let's go!"  An hour and a half later you're soaking wet from walking in the 120 heat, your face is red and peeling off, your throat feels like burning charcoal, and your wife wants to kick your ass but lucky for you her legs have no strength left.  Don't be fooled.  Walk if you must, just be prepared.

Vegas is open 24 hours a day.

There is no last call in Vegas.  You can drink and gamble 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  Sometimes at four or five in the morning you may walk through a casino and see no one gambling and the lounges and bars closed, so you may think, "Is this place open?"  The answer is yes.  Usually during the "graveyard" hours only one or two bars are open, and a few table games.  But all the slot machines are available (unless they're working on them or doing a slot drop) and cocktails are still served.  However, this does not mean that there isn't a curfew for minors.  If you are under 18, the curfew is 10 PM Sunday-Thursday, and midnight Friday and Saturday, unless you're accompanied by an adult.