Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a non-stop party city with all the bright light, buzz and bejewelled brilliance you could ever hope for. Read all about it in Lonely Planet’s new Las Vegas Condensed guide. Here’s a peek.Entertainment

If Sin City didn’t invent the 24/7 lifestyle, then it has perfected it. You can catch a world-class stage show around midnight, groove to a globe-trotting DJ until dawn, then catch topnotch comedy or top-fuel drag racing at noon. For its size, Vegas attracts way more than its fair share of headliners. And in recent years haute culture has begun to blossom. The Strip is the obvious all-hours hotspot for shows and clubbing. Residents are more likely to seek solace and let loose on the Eastside around UNLV, at strip clubs on the industrial Westside, at neighborhood bars and ‘locals’ casinos in suburban Summerlin, Green Valley or Henderson. Three free weekly tabloids – the Mercury,

Weekly and CityLife – hit the streets on Thursday and, when combined with the Friday Review-Journal’s Neon insert, collectively offer comprehensive arts and entertainment listings.Gambling

Gambling can be an exhilarating experience – every lucky roll of the dice providing an electric rush of adrenaline – but when it comes to casinos, it’s crucial to consider one thing: the house advantage. For every game (except poker) the house has a statistical winning edge (the ‘percentage’) over the gambler, and for nearly every payout in nearly every game the house ‘holds’ a small portion of the winnings. These amounts vary with the game and with individual bets, but they add up to what’s referred to as a ‘long-term negative expectation’ – or the assurance that over the long haul the gambler will lose everything.

As such, you should approach gambling only as fee-based entertainment and not as a way to fund your children’s education. Understand the game you are playing, don’t bet more than you are prepared to lose, and learn to walk away when you are up.

April 29, 2003

Viva Las Vegas (contd)

In the event that you do decide to shoot the moon, there are three things that you should do:

  • Take some lessons – Free instruction is offered at most casinos; inquire at the main cage.
  • Join a slot club – This is the gaming equivalent of a frequent-flier program: Membership is free and the more you play the more ‘comps’ you earn.
  • Ask to be rated – If playing tables, ask the pit boss to rate your play. Comps are granted based on how much you bet per hand, with $5-10 being the minimum to qualify for free meals.

Got a Problem? Time to Quit?

Free confidential counseling and referrals are available 24/7 from the national Problem Gambler’s Helpline (tel: 800- 522-4700). The local branch of Gamblers Anonymous ( tel: 385-7732; also staffs a 24/7 hotline.

Production shows

Vegas is a big show – a minimal plot production that typically includes a variety of song, dance and magic numbers. Leaving town without seeing a show is like leaving Paris without seeing Notre Dame.

Bars, Brewpubs and Lounges

Every mega-resort has at least one lounge with varying qualities of free entertainment. Most non-casino bars boast two-for-one happy hours, which generally run 4-6pm or 5-7pm; some are open 24/7/365


Nightclubs at The Strip’s mega-resorts are a Hollywood set designer’s dream. Seemingly no expense has been spared to bring Vegas on par with New York and Los Angeles in the area of wildly extravagant clubs. Check out or for current listings.

Las Vegas Condensed

Andrew Dean Nystrom

1st edition 1 74059 453 3

Due May 2003

128pp, full colour, 10 maps

US$12.99, A$19.80

This informative and savvy guide captures the best that Las Vegas offers in a practical, easy to use format. With opinionated reviews, essentail travel tips and detailed fold-out maps, Las Vegas Condensed has all the information the discerning visitor needs — for a day or a week, for business or for pleasure.

April 29, 2003