Everyone who goes to Las Vegas wants to make a million, right? You play the slots, spin the wheel, or raise them high in high stakes poker – whatever your game, you want to win and win big.
But other than sheer luck, just how can you do it? How can you go to Las Vegas and come away with millions in your pocket?
Well, here are 7 ways you might like to try:
1). Doorman’s Delight
Last time I was in Las Vegas, I saw some guy showing off his brand new Maserati to an excited group of doormen. Turns out the guy with the Maserati was also a doorman. He’d earned so much in tips that he was able to buy himself a shiny new $100,000 car.
When high rollers leave the casino after winning big, they’re eager to get back to their hotel and party hard. Unfortunately, their pockets are stuffed with nothing smaller than $100 bills, which they throw the doorman’s way as if it’s confetti. If you’ve just won big, it doesn’t seem like real money, so you’re happy to throw it around until the endorphins wear off! Who benefits? The doormen!
Tip: try to be a doorman at the more exclusive casinos. Mandalay Bay’s good – Circus Circus less so.
2). Taxi’s Tip
Taxi drivers take the Doorman’s Delight to the next level by stating clearly on their cab that they can’t give change for anything more than $5. Seriously, when was the last time you even had $5 in your pocket?! So if you show them a $100 bill, they’ll smile, point to the sign saying “nothing more than $5” and pocket the whole $100.
Again, the high roller is unconcerned by this dramatic scene of uber-inflation, so keen is he to get back to his hotel and let the party begin. The taxi driver thus whisks him off to his destination, with a nice little bonus of 10 times the normal taxi fair in his pocket.
Been to Vegas and tipped the cocktail waitress? She could be worth more than you! Legendary Australian billionaire and high roller Kerry Packer was in free-spending mode one night after winning big at the MGM Mirage. He asked the cocktail waitress if she had a mortgage. “Bring it in tomorrow and I’ll pay it off for you” he said. True to his word, her $150,000 mortgage was paid off in full the next day.
4). Do what the Dealer’s do: Deal!
When you win big, the endorphins and adrenaline kick in, and largesse takes over. Who’s the first person you see? The dealer! Good dealers at the top hotels such as the Wynn earn $100,000 a year, mostly in tips. Baccarat dealers earn the most, followed by blackjack and then craps dealers.
Sometimes, though, the dealers really hit the jackpot, just for doing their job. After losing $6 million in six hours at the Bellagaio, Kerry Packer (yes, him again!) tipped one dealer a cool $1 million.
So even when losing, some high rollers just can’t help splashing their cash!
5). The Poker God
Of course, the more traditional way to make your millions in Vegas is to wiin big at poker – but to do this, you have to be a poker god. One of the more enduring legends around the Vegas casino is Archie Karas, who in 1992 – 1993 nearly destroyed Binion’s Horseshoe cashino by firstly defeating 15 of the world’s greatest poker players, and running amok at craps.
At one point, he had possession of the Horseshoe’s entire stock of $5,000 chips. He left having won a total of $17 million after starting off with just $10,000 – which he’d borrowed from a friend!
6). Gambling Grannies
The Megabucks slots are where the real money is to be made in Vegas. Strangely, though, most of the winners are pensioners.
Elmer Sherwin, for example, won $4.6 million and followed that up with a win of $21 million 21 years later. He was 92 when he won his second jackpot.
Then there was Amy Nisimura who won $8.9 million on a Megabuck slot machine at the Freemont hotel. She was 71.
Indeed, the only deviation from this trend is the 25 year old anonymous guy who spent $100 at the Excalibur’s megabucks slot machine in March 2003, and came away with $39.7 million. Lady luck was clearly shining on him that night.
So it seems that if you want to win big in Vegas, take your Gran with you, get her to play the Megabucks slots, and she how high she can roll!
7). Casino Cash
Of course, everyone knows the only guaranteed way to make your millions in Las Vegas is to own your own casino, which is exactly what Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson did. Unfortunately, no-one told him when to stop.
Adelson’s story is one of astounding business acumen. He began by creating the computer industry’s premier trade show, Comdex, where he rented space for 15 cents a square foot and sold it on to the exhibitors for an incredible $40 a square foot! He sold this cash cow to Japan’s softbank for $862 million in 1995.
Not content with nearly $1 billion in the bank, though, Adelson decided to pour his money into Las Vegas, and came up with the idea of a mega-hotel and casino based on the canals of Venice. Thus, the Venetian was born, with incredible attention to detail that included a canal running all the way through the hotel.
In order to build the Venetian, Adelson first bought the legendary Sands hotel for $128 million, and promptly demolished it. He then lavished another $1.5 billion on the site in the construction of the Venetian, which was the first hotel in Vegas to be all suites. At the time, this decision was laughed at by the rest of the casino owners, but Adelson is the one laughing now, as the Venetian is hugely successful, and many other new hotels that are being built are also all-suites.
Still not knowing when to stop, though, Adelson has continued, and is in the process of building the Palazzo next to the Venetian. Costing nearly $2 billion, the combined Palazzo-Venetian complex will contain over 7,000 suites, and will become the largest hotel in the world.
And then there’s the other casinos that he’s built in Macau, which is fast becoming the Vegas of the East. In 2004, he built the Sands Macau casino for $265 million – and recouped the entire investment in just one year! So he kept on building, investing another $6 billion in Macau and a $3.5 billion casino in Singapore.
All this savvy casino-building has earned Adelson an astonishing $20.5 billion fortune, making him the 15th richest man on earth.
Want to know how to make a million in Vegas? Buy yourself a casino – it’s the only dead-cert in town!