10 Things Slowly Going Away in Las Vegas

It’s no secret our love for Las Vegas runs deep and thick. Still, Las Vegas is constantly changing, and not always for the best.

Some aspects of Las Vegas are fading away, and we can’t let their passing go unmemorialized.

Here, then, are 10 things related to the Las Vegas experience that are going away. There’s no sense whining, but there’s value in pining, so let’s dive in.

1. Coin Slot Machines

There was a time in Las Vegas when coins were slot machine fuel. Then came paper vouchers (otherwise known as TITO, or “ticket-in, ticket out”) and coins went away virtually overnight. Now, the only casino on The Strip with coin machines is Circus Circus. Just two casinos downtown have coin-operated machines, The Cal and El Cortez. We miss the sound of coins, we even miss the grime a little. We know they’re a pain for casinos, but Vegas changed a lot when coins went away.

Coin slots Las Vegas
These coin machines at Circus Circus are some of the hardest working machines in the business.

2. $1 Roulette Chips

A lot has been made of the demise of 3-to-2 blackjack and triple zero roulette, but there’s a change that’s flown largely under the radar. A number of Strip casinos no longer let players get roulette chips at the $1 denomination. The new minimum denomination is $2. Also, with minimums creeping up, on a $20 or $25 minium table, the lowest denomination allowed is a $5 chip. That’s just rude. Casinos are going to get our money, anyway (roulette has some of the worst odds in a casino), so let us gamble it the way (and in the increments) we want.

Triple zero roulette
Don’t get us started.

3. Buffets

Las Vegas was once synonymous with cheap buffets, but that era is no more. The pandemic gave casinos the excuse they needed to nix loss leaders, and buffets were that, for the most part. (The CEO of Caesars Entertainment said their Las Vegas buffets lost $3 million a year on average.) Some buffets remain, but they’re anything but cheap. That’s because they have to earn their keep. Food halls are the new buffets in Las Vegas.

We miss you so much, M Resort buffet.

4. Dealers

It’s awkward, but the advent of electronic games is threatening to make dealers obsolete. Not really, but it sounds dramatic. Craps dealers are the most endangered, as a craps table’s labor costs are high (traditional tables have three dealers). It’s not just dealers being replaced by machines, of course, hotel front desk clerks, concierges and service bartenders are seeing their gigs go away thanks to automation, and the trend is going to continue. It’s a bummer, because these humans are integral to what makes Las Vegas unique. Yes, even the grumpy dealers.

Electronic craps table
We’ll take a surly dealer over a screen any day.

5. Reel Slot Machines

As mentioned, technology is having a serious impact on Las Vegas, and that includes some of our favorite slot machines. The kind with reels. Reel machines are mechanical, and more difficult to maintain. We’ve heard Caesars Palace, for example, is eliminating all its reel machines, probably this year. If we can’t find reel machines, we’re probably done with Las Vegas, as one cannot live by video poker alone.

Painful, but we’re just keeping it reel.

6. Daily Housekeeping

Housekeeping is the biggest operating expense at any hotel, and that includes Las Vegas hotels. Cost-cutting measures now include giving guests perks to skip housekeeping, or simply not offering it daily by default. We always thought housekeeping was the best perk of staying in a hotel, but the times, they are a’changing.

Hotel courtesy fold
Vegas isn’t Vegas without a courtesy fold.

7. Prices on Things

Back in 2019, it was sort of a big deal that a gift shop at Excalibur wasn’t putting prices on anything. It was a harbinger of things to come, as surge pricing (sorry, “dynamic pricing”) is now commonplace in Las Vegas hotels. That means you won’t know the price of a product (or sundries, whatever those might be) until you check out. That’s so they can change the price based upon the occupancy of the hotel. Good times, as Borat would say, not.

surge pricing Las Vegas
This is the real gamble in Las Vegas casinos.

8. Free Parking

This trend isn’t new, as it started in 2016 when MGM Resorts decided money was being left on the table by providing guests free parking. Naturally, everyone else jumped onboard the paid parking bandwagon. There are still a few die-hards on The Strip where parking is free: TI, Venetian and Palazzo, Casino Royale, Circus Circus, Wynn and Encore. Trop and Strat still have mostly free parking, but now offer paid “premium” parking. Resorts World is free, but you have to join the loyalty club. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars gambling or dining at a casino, then being dinged $25 on your way out for parking a couple of hours. (Granted, if you’re spending that much and using a players club card, you should be at a tier where parking is free.) Yes, everywhere else in the world has paid parking, but everywhere else in the world isn’t Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Monopoly
We something have difficulty letting go.

9. Free Premium Restaurant Seating

Back in the day, you could slip a hostess or maître d’ a few bucks and you’d get a sweet table. Now, a number of Las Vegas restaurants have realized their views have revenue potential, so they offer prime seating for a fee. It’s hard to get too mad, as these fees assure you’ll get the dining experience you desire, without having to be at the whim of the aforementioned hostess or maître d’. Still, greasing palms is a time-honored Las Vegas tradition, and schmoozing that window seat was part of the adventure. Now, not so much.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant
Table 56, totally worth it.

10. Manners

Simply put, common courtesy no longer is. Common, in case that wasn’t clear. Just look around a Las Vegas steakhouse and notice how many people are wearing baseball caps or cowboy hats (depending upon the time of year). We are a terrible dresser, but we aren’t wearing pajamas in a casino. It’s not just clothes, of course, courtesy of all types is becoming rare, not just in Las Vegas, but we don’t care all that much about other places. We care about here. The best example of the loss of manners is in the realm of tipping. The bottom line is tipping has suffered, especially following the pandemic, but overall. We get the tradition of tipping is illogical and frustrating. That’s no excuse to tip poorly or not tip at all. From people riding Rascals indoors to disrespectful behavior toward service industry employees to road rage and shouting matches over nothing (not to mention arguments that escalate into gunplay), manners and courtesy seem to have left the building. It’s gross and it’s making Las Vegas, and the world, worse. More thoughts on this subject here.

If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to visit.

We trust you have other suggestions for this list.

What are the things you miss about Las Vegas? What changes have the most impact on your enjoyment of the town? What things that are gone do you wish we could get back?

What things have gone away that make Las Vegas better? For example, when was the last time you heard complaints about taxi long-hauling?

Do cheesy free attractions going away, like “Sirens of TI,” make Las Vegas better or worse?

Did the mob going away making Sin City better or worse?

We have questions, we’d love to hear your answers.