Las Vegas, NV

Say Goodbye to Free Drinks in Las Vegas

Bria Snyder

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Say Goodbye to Free Drinks in Las Vegas

The days of free alcoholic beverages brought to you by cocktail waitresses in skimpy show girl like costumes while you gamble are dwindling. Well actually, the days of free anything in Las Vegas are becoming extinct. Free parking, yeah right you can't even find free parking with validation let alone straight up free parking anymore. Now you're shelling out minimum of $12 and up to $15 per day.

So I'm going to break down drinking in Las Vegas, I'll go over what's free, what's sort of free but with restrictions, what's cheap, what's legal and illegal, you name it I'll cover it below so read on and don't forget to follow me for all things Las Vegas!

Fat Tuesday

Fat Tuesday is an alcoholic slushy drink chain bar. There are now 9 locations located up and down the Las Vegas Strip and 1 (just opened!) on Fremont Street Experience. In my opinion this is the best way to go when it comes to drinking in Las Vegas. As soon as you decide it's game time, head to one of the 10 locations and purchase a refillable cup at the start of your trip. First you'll need to decide on the size of your cup, my personal recommendation is to do the 32oz mug. I know the novelty of getting the yard, but you will quickly regret this decision for a few reasons. 1. There is no handle and it's a paint to carry after a while 2. Because it has no handle you're stuck holding the freezing cold cup itself 3. It fits literally no where. While I recommend the mug here are some of your options 12oz, 16oz, 20oz, 32oz, 36oz, 44oz in single fill or refillable, straw tumbler cup, mug, yard, light up bottle, plastic cup, and more. Next choose from approximately 12 different premixed slushy flavors which all feature a different type of complimentary alcohol. While options may vary based on location here are some you are likely to find: Cat 5 Hurricane, 190 Octane, Pina Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, White Russian, Eye Candy, Bellini, Margarita, Amaretto & Pineapple, Electric Lemonade, and more. Then decide if you'd like to add an extra shot to your drink for an additional fee. When you've finished your drink don't worry, the party isn't over yet, this is Vegas! Simply head into the next nearest Fat Tuesday location and refill that baby with a new flavor for a discounted price. Keep your cup your entire trip to continue to save!

No More Unlimited Free Drinks

While Vegas used to be known for their flow of free drinks when you gambled that's not exactly the case anymore. Most casinos up and down the Las Vegas Strip have since changed their free drink policy as they began to realize that free alcoholic was cutting into their profits.

In 2015, The Mirage implemented a voucher system for free drinks. If you put $20 into a machine you were granted a free drink, as you continued to gamble you would earn additional free drinks.

In 2016, Caesar's Palace announced its plans to implement a "green light, red light" system in which machines would be monitored electronically based on steady play. If your light was green it was ok to receive a comped drink, if your light was red you had to keep playing until it turned green and you earned a free drink. As of right now, this system only seems to be located on video poker machines with no insight on whether or not it will be added to other machines.

When Park MGM opened (previously Monte Carlo) Guests playing at video poker machines were not afforded the perk of comped drinks. Since then MGM Resorts has changed this policy, although it's still not great. Now guests are given 1 coupled drink when they deposit $20 into the machine IF and ONLY if they also have a M Life players club card. After the first drink guests must pay for their subsequent drinks even if they are continuously gambling unless they have racked up 10 session points, initially this was 25 sessions points but after much complaints from loyalty card holders MGM Resorts scaled it back to 10. The only good news here is that the screen now displays how much further you need to go before reaching your next session point so you can see when you qualify for an additional drink.

Free Drinks

Now that we have the bad news out of the way, lets get into what is actually free still! Head down to The Fremont Street Experience where the casinos are older, the scene is dirtier, the entertainment is louder, and the drinks flow heavier, and honestly the party is better.

At this time ALL Fremont Street Experience Casinos offer complimentary drinks while gambling, but please don't forget to tip your servers and if you're playing table games please also tip your dealers regularly. It is customary to tip your dealer after a win. Another great perk of Fremont is that parking is considerably cheaper, food is cheaper, and there is now a Fat Tuesday if you don't want to wait in between cocktail servers bringing your drinks.

What is Illegal?

Glass and aluminum are illegal on both The Las Vegas Strip and The Fremont Street Experience. What is also illegal on The Fremont Street Experience is purchasing drinks from convenience stores and popping them open on the Experience. This means, if you purchase a bottle, 2/$5 bud lights, or anything in between from the ABC Store located on the experience it will be given to you in a bag stapled closed with the receipt and a note on it warning you that you cannot consume this alcohol on Fremont St. The reason for this is because Nevada Revised Statute states that alcohol cannot be consumed within so many feet of an establishment which sells alcohol. This is to keep people from purchasing alcohol at the local 7Eleven and then congregating out front getting obliterated, unfortunately it also pertains to tourist areas such as The Fremont Street Experience. Now, you can get a drink from any bar on the experience and drink it on FSE as long as you first pour it into a plastic cup provided at the exit of each casino. The reason you can drink alcohol from the casino but not from a convenience store comes down to the type of liquor sales license they hold. A casino holds a Tavern License while a convenience store holds a Sales License.

I hope this didn't put too big of a damper on your plans, but it's always best to know before you go. I want you all to enjoy your next trip to Las Vegas without a free trip to City Jail compliments of LVMPD's finest.

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