Viva Las Vegas

April 29, 2003

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.

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