Tipping etiquette can be confusing at the best of times. Even in Las Vegas, where everything is as brash and in your face as you can imagine, people wonder how much to tip or even who to tip. And if tipping in Las Vegas is confusing, how do you possibly figure it out for casinos in distant countries? Not to fear, it’s really not as complicated as you might think.
One thing that’s universal is to tip with your gambling currency. So, if you’re using cash on the slots, tip the dealer who gives you a manual pay out with cash. If you’re playing a table game, use the chips to give your croupier the gratuity. Also, remember that the dealer is a human being and you are using the tip to thank them, so you might also want to smile, make conversation or otherwise be polite.
Macau has already surpassed Las Vegas in many ways. It proves more valuable for casino owners because it has a much higher yearly gambling turnover than Las Vegas. Bigger and better casinos are being built there all the time.
Even though the casinos rival those of Las Vegas, the tipping culture is still distinctly Chinese. A 10% service fee is added to restaurant bills and other costs, so you won’t need to tip if you eat at the casino. You can tip the dealers when you win at the casino, but no more than 10% is necessary and it really isn’t customary to do so, so you shouldn’t feel obliged to.
Tips are often handed over to the big bosses anyway, so you’ll actually end up tipping the owner rather than the server or dealer in most establishments, which probably isn’t what you were trying to do.
Australia & New Zealand
After years of Sydney’s Opera House dominating the main tourist attractions in Australia, the lavish casino resorts are now bringing even more visitors into the country. There have been some changes to the gambling industry in New Zealand and Australia because of this casino tourism, but certain things remain stable.
Because dealers and other service industry professionals are paid high enough wages, there’s never a circumstance where tipping is obligatory. In fact, Australia prohibits tipping of gaming staff as it is considered bribery, and could raise questions about fairness.
New Zealand is a bit more lax in the rules around tipping in the casinos, but it is still not customary to tip. If you receive truly stellar service or really want to thank the dealer you can give a small gratuity, but it is not expected. In general, tipping culture in Australia and New Zealand comes primarily from Americans traveling abroad and leaving tips the way they would back home.
The UK and Europe
From the beautiful casinos of London to the stellar social engineering of the Holland Casino franchise, gambling is legal across Europe. In other parts of the service sector, tips are fairly uncommon in Western Europe, primarily because laws are in place that ensure servers are paid a livable wage without extra tips.
Until recently, tipping was illegal in UK casinos. While that has since been overturned, British punters still rarely tip their dealers, and tipping is never considered obligatory or expected.
Across the rest of Western Europe, it’s similarly accepted but not obligatory to tip. Tipping is often only common in high roller rooms or tournaments. The further East you go, the more tipping is accepted, although throughout France, The Netherlands and Germany, tipping more than 5% can be seen as ostentatious or rude.
Much like France, tipping simply isn’t part of the culture in luxurious Monaco. Even when visiting the famed Monte Carlo casinos and gambling rooms, you won’t be expected to give tips to your croupier unless you’re winning and wish to share the good luck. It is never obligatory, and the dealers won’t think less of you for not tipping.
The dealers are paid well in these casinos, and visitors even need to pay an entrance fee. So rather than worrying about a tip, simply pay your entrance and enjoy the experience.
Tipping is fairly standard across the Caribbean. Whether you head to Puerto Rico or Aruba, the Dominican Republic or the Canary Islands, you’ll want to ensure that you tip generously in restaurants, bars, hotels and, yes, casinos. Treat it the same way you would when visiting Las Vegas, Reno or Atlantic City, and you should be in the right ballpark.
Of course, it’s always up to you how much you choose to give your croupier. You might choose to hand over a portion of a big win, or only pay out just before you or the dealer leave the table. Tipping may eat into your winnings, but with people working hard to serve you and often earning less than you might imagine, it’s best to offer a gratuity when you can.