2014 Record Year for Las Vegas Tourism
When it comes to gambling in the United States, the number one destination is Las Vegas, Nevada—and by a long shot. In 2014, Las Vegas set an attendance record of 41.1 million visitors. That’s roughly 1.4 million more visitors than the previous high of 39.7 million set in 2012.1
With the global economy recovering, Las Vegas continues to be one of the top travel destinations for visitors from all over the world. In 2014, 19%, or roughly eight million visitors came to Las Vegas from outside the United States—up significantly from 16% in 2011.
What are the main reasons for visiting Las Vegas? Almost half (47%) of visitors said their primary reason for visiting Las Vegas was for vacation or pleasure. That’s a dramatic increase over the 41% who said the same thing in 2013.
Specifically, 12% (5.17 million people) said they came to Las Vegas simply to gamble. On average, each person gambled $530.00 during their stay. The same number (5.17 million) travelled to Las Vegas to attend one of the 22,103 conventions held in the city.
Whether it’s for business (convention) or pleasure (gambling), there are an endless number of things to do for those visiting Las Vegas. Looking for a place to stay? There are 150,544 hotel/motel rooms in Las Vegas with an average nightly room rate of just $117.00. Overall, Las Vegas’ hotel occupancy rate is 89.1%. The national average hotel occupancy rate is just 64.4%.
3 of the Top Las Vegas Gambling Casinos
By definition, a casino is a place with table games, not just slots/video poker. If a casino was defined by a place with just a slot machine, every convenience store in Las Vegas would be a casino.
At last count, there were 29 casinos on the legendary Las Vegas Strip; 10 close to the Strip, 12 in downtown Las Vegas, and 25 in the Greater Las Vegas Area. Not all casinos are created equal, though. Some offer different games from others. For example, if you love bingo, you’ll have to visit Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa.2
Many of the largest hotels/casinos in the world can be found on the Las Vegas Strip. Some amazing casinos can also be found off the Strip. The following are the three most popular casinos in Las Vegas.
M Resort Spa Casino
M Resort Spa Casino is located a few minutes south of the famous Las Vegas Strip on Interstate 15. The casino offers more than 92,000 square feet of gaming, including over 1,800 slot machines, 64 table games, and a private high-limit area. It is also the first casino in the United States to offer in-running betting at its race and sports book. When you’re done playing the slots or Baccarat, you can stay in one of the 390 resort rooms and suites.3
The D Las Vegas
The D Las Vegas is located off the Strip in downtown Las Vegas. The downtown casino is one of the only two-level casinos in Las Vegas. The first floor has a contemporary feel with slots and table games, dancing dealers, 10-times odds on dice and blackjack tables that pay 3:2. The second floor has a vintage feel with a large number of classic coin-operated slot machines and a Sigma Derby machine (simulated horse racing). The second floor vintage casino is also home to a William Hill Sports Book. The 34-storey D Casino Hotel also has 629 deluxe rooms, pool, restaurants, entertainment, and nightclubs.4
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The Cosmopolitan’s modern facilities include a 100,000-square-foot casino with 81 individual classic table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, fortune pai gow poker, and ultimate Texas hold ’em. It also offers a wide variety of slot machines—1,478 reel spinning, video reel, and video poker machines with denominations ranging from $0.01 to $500.00.5 In 2015, the 2,995-room resort was named to the Condé Nast Traveller Gold List as one of the “Top Hotels in the World.”6
Taxable Games in Las Vegas
When visiting Las Vegas, winnings over $1,200 are subject to a 30% withholding tax. Games in which winnings are considered taxable income by the IRS include slots, gambling, poker, pari-mutuel, or sports betting. For example, if you win $2,000 on the slots or betting on the horses, you only receive $1,600 because the IRS keeps the rest.
That said, not all games are subject to the 30% withholding tax. Games exempt from being considered taxable winnings include baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, and big 6 wheel.
Finally, due to individual tax treaties, the gambling income won by those living in certain countries is also exempt from the 30% withholding tax. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. All other countries are subject to the 30% withholding tax, with Malta being the one exception (gambling winnings are taxed just 10% for visitors from Malta).
So now you know where the hottest casinos are to gamble on your next trip to Las Vegas. What happens if you bet on a taxable game and win big? You get taxed, but there is a way you can reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Contact RMS to Get Your Gaming Tax Refund
If you’ve visited Las Vegas and had 30% of your gaming winnings held back by the IRS, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help you reclaim a portion or all of your taxable winnings.
Founded by a Canadian Chartered Accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for Canadian and non-U.S. residents visiting Las Vegas. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest. Your refund cheque gets mailed out to you as soon as your refund is approved. We’ve never been refused an eligible refund. Contact us today!
- GLS Research, “Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study 2014 Annual Report,” Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority web site, 2014; http://www.lvcva.com/includes/content/images/media/docs/2014-Las_Vegas_Visitor_Profile.pdf.
- “Complete List of Las Vegas Casinos,” Vegasclick.com; http://vegasclick.com/vegas/casinos.html, last accessed May 28, 2015.
- “Revolutionizing Las Vegas Gaming,” The M Resort web site; http://www.themresort.com/gaming/gaming.html, last accessed May 28, 2015.
- The D Las Vegas web site; www.thed.com, last accessed May 28, 2015.
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas web site; www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com, last accessed May 28, 2015.
- “The Gold List 2015,” The Condé Nast Traveller web site, December 16, 2014; http://www.cntraveler.com/reports/gold-list-2015.