Just like everywhere else in USA, the basic salaries in the service industry in Las Vegas are generally low and the tips make up a substantial part of the total income. In Denmark, service is always included in the price, so we’re not used to tipping, and I often hear that Scandinavians, even though we are nice and friendly customers, are some of the worst tippers in the world.
Just to make it clear: In USA, choosing not to tip isn’t really an option, unless you’ve been physically or verbally assaulted. You ALWAYS tip a minimum amount (see the details below), and if you can’t afford to tip, then you can’t afford to visit that restaurant/nightclub/attraction.
The whole tipping thing can be complicated if you’re not used to it, and remembering to always keep 1-dollar bills at hand can be cumbersome. However, it makes everything a little easier and less awkward, if you’ve acquainted yourself in advance with approximately how much each person expects in tips. Below are some general guidelines, but if the service has been exceptionally good, of course you add a little extra.
Restaurants & Buffets
At restaurants, it is customary to add a minimum of 15% on top of the bill unless gratuity has already been added, which is sometimes the case at more upscale establishments, or if you are a group of people out dining. Personally I usually leave around 20%. It is stated on the bill, if service is included.
At buffets, I would suggest that you tip a couple of dollars. If it’s a more upscale establishment such as The Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon or Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal, which look more like ordinary restaurants, with plenty of staff to attend to you, I usually leave a little more.
Nightclubs and bars
In bars and nightclubs, you tip a dollar or two a drink. This also applies to the free drinks most casinos provide, while you are gambling, or the free drinks you get on ladies’ night.
Valet parking and taxi line guys
If you use the free valet parking service, which most resorts on the Strip provide, it is customary that you tip a couple of dollars when you get your car back.
Regarding the guys managing the taxi lines in front of the casinos, some people tip them and others don’t. If you choose to tip, then $1 is appropriate.
These are the guys that help you carry your luggage to and from your room. I usually tip $2-5 per bag and more if I need additional services such as hailing a taxi or handling a giant suitcases and a bunch of shopping bags.
The concierge takes care of arranging table reservations, excursions and more, and it is common to leave around $5 and up, depending on the service provided. For basic questions such as pointing you in the right direction
to the restrooms, you don’t have to tip, but if the concierge helps you get tickets to a sold out show or puts you on the guest list for a meet-and-greet event with Snoop, you’re expected to tip more generously.
It’s easy to forget to tip the hotel maid, since you’re usually not around, when the service is done. Considering that hotel maids are among the casino resort personnel with the smallest paychecks, “forgetting” to tip the one that cleans your room is in my opinion not ok (1-5 $/day should do). I leave the tip each day with a note saying “housekeeping.”