Questions People are Afraid to Ask about Las Vegas Casinos

Las Vegas Sign and Strip

There is no shame in not knowing the answer to a question. But people reluctantly ask some questions out of embarrassment. They may even ask the questions anonymously.

You may know you have come of age when you stop asking questions without a care for who may laugh or smirk at you.

But no one can know everything. And if you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas you should be asking a lot of questions. It’s important to know what you can and cannot do when visiting any city.

Here is a list of great questions people don’t always ask but should.

1 – Are Las Vegas Pools Open in January and February?

Las Vegas is situated in the Nevada desert – and deserts are hot – so that should mean every pool in Las Vegas is open for business all year round.

Or does it?

Well, it gets pretty cool at night, especially in the winter months. If you want guaranteed sunshine, warmth, and water during the winter months a Caribbean cruise may be a better choice.

Still, you can find some year-round pools in Vegas if you check. If you’re planning a trip around Las Vegas swimming pools that are open in the winter you’ll find plenty to choose from.

Always check the casino or hotel Website for pool hours and availability. Even hotels with heated pools, like the Aria, Bellagio, and MGM Grand may have to close down for maintenance and repairs from time to time.

Over a dozen casinos advertise at least some pool availability during the winter months. They may limit hours or only leave one pool open.

2 – Can Las Vegas Have Earthquakes?

If you’ve seen any of the George Clooney Ocean’s movies then you know that high-priced criminal gangs are constantly looking for creative ways to rob the casinos. Or maybe that’s just movie myth.

But as crazy plot ideas go, the fake earthquake in Ocean’s Thirteen was pretty funny. It was also highly impractical, not because Vegas can’t experience quakes, but because it would cost a fortune to buy and transport the tunnel boring machine they used.

Nevada sits on a total of 12 earthquake faults, so it definitely experiences seismic activity. In fact, every part of the Earth’s surface is moving. That’s plate tectonics.

Picture of Las Vegas Strip

Some layers of continental rock are thicker than others, and farther removed from fault lines than other areas – but the Earth’s surface is constantly shifting around.

Nevada has earthquakes. Most are unnoticed. It’s doubtful you’ll ever be evacuated from a casino because of an earthquake.

Still, Nevada can experience almost every kind of natural disaster. The state advises residents to prepare for anything when appropriate: flood, fire, wind, snow, and earthquakes.

3 – Are Las Vegas Casinos Smoke-free?

If you’re a non-smoker be prepared for disappointment. Despite the decline in smoking among Americans over the past 20 years, Las Vegas casinos remain smoke-friendly environments.

A few years ago there were some smoke-free casinos but they have been relaxing their policies.

Ironically most businesses in Nevada operate smoke-free environments. It is possible to find smoke-free gambling rooms at smaller establishments.

Newer casinos tend to have better ventilation and air-filtering systems. You may not notice much smoke in the larger gambling halls with modern air systems.

Some of the casinos designate non-smoking areas. Of course, they may not have all the games you want to play.

Players who want to game in a smoke-free environment can also play in off-peak hours, when the crowds are smaller and less likely to be smoking where you want to play.

Check the casino Websites to see if they offer non-smoking options.

4 – Will Las Vegas Casinos Cash Personal Checks?

If you’re still writing paper checks when you travel – or using travelers’ checks, don’t worry. Most if not all of the major casinos in Las Vegas cash personal checks and travelers’ checks.

In fact, all you may need is your bank name, account, and routing numbers. The casinos have switched to processing e-checks over the past decade. This is easier for many people.

View of a Casino Table Games Pit

There may be a small fee for cashing a personal check. Travelers’ checks are usually accepted the same as cash.

The casinos have cut way back on cashing payroll checks. Seriously, if your company offers direct deposit you should be using it. You get your money faster and delivery is safer than walking around with a check in your pocket.

Check the casino Websites before you visit to see what their check cashing policies are.

5 – Where are the Casinos In Las Vegas?

This is a great question. In fact, I’ve almost turned it into a bar bet a few times.

While there are casinos located inside Las Vegas’ city limits, they are the downtown casinos and a few others.

All the casinos on the world-famous Vegas strip are actually not in Las Vegas. They are located outside of Las Vegas in unincorporated Clarke County. The Strip runs through the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester on the south side of Las Vegas.

The iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign you see in movies and pictures is located just over 4 miles south of the Las Vegas city limits on the Strip.

So, technically the casinos in Las Vegas are on Fremont Street. Unofficially the Strip is considered to be part of Vegas by tourists and the locals don’t complain.

6 – Can Minors Go Into Casinos In Las Vegas?

Happily you don’t have to leave your children at the door when you check into a Las Vegas hotel or casino. But though you’ll see kids walking through gaming areas they are not permitted to stand or sit near any games.

Parents may take children into the food courts and other venues located adjacent to gaming areas but you can’t sit at a slot machine and send your child on errands for you.

The gambling age in Las Vegas is 21. The drinking age is also 21. And hotel guests must be 21 or older to make reservations or check-in.

There are many family- and kid-friendly activities in Vegas but the “sinful” parts of the Sin City experience are reserved for adults.

7 – Why Are There So Many Casinos in Las Vegas?

Economics answers this question better than any other theory.

Nevada created a gambling-friendly environment when other states were outlawing gambling. By providing supply for a large demand, Nevada stimulated the growth of its gambling industry.

Although even Nevada outlawed gambling for a while, they passed gaming regulation laws in the 1930s to improve the state’s economy. As more casinos were built around the state many illegal casinos around the country went out of business.

And as the illegal gambling venues declined in number more people flocked to Vegas. That led to more investment in Las Vegas’ gambling industry.

The growth of air travel after the Second World War helped stimulate tourism around the country. And Howard Hughes – who made a fortune in the airline and related industries – settled in Las Vegas in the 1960s. He bought up real estate and began the process of attracting corporate investment to the gambling industry.

In short, the state of Nevada caplitalized on the national trend of outlawing casinos by creating a casino-friendly environment. By the time Native American tribes and other states began legalizing land-based casinos, Vegas had firmly established itself as the gambling capital of America.


Honorable mention goes to “can you wear shorts in a Las Vegas casino?”

It’s okay in the daytime but you will want to dress a little more warmly in the evening anyway. You can always check the casino and restaurant Websites for dress codes. If there is no dress code than whatever is legal should suffice but keep the weather in mind.

If I had a dollar for every question I was afraid to ask I wouldn’t be rich but I’d have enough money to fund a trip to Vegas. It’s great to know the answer to an obscure question if you’re making a bar bet but even the little questions are important.

Bing and Google make it easy to find answers to these questions but you don’t always know who to trust. I’ve been to Vegas and feel comfortable with the answers travelers share on sites like TripAdvisor. I can usually find quick verification for something I’m no longer sure about.

It’s also easy enough to visit the state, city, and county Websites. They publish information for visitors and answer many of these obscure questions. Even if you just landed at the airport it’s never too late to look online for what you need to know.