Going into a land based casino involves more than just playing your favourite pokies. While that may be the primary reason for visiting the casino, you also need to be mindful of the tipping etiquette which can be confusing at the best of times. Every region will have its own customs but one thing that will be universal will be tipping with your gambling currency.
What we mean by that is the currency you use for specific games. For example, when playing at the roulette table, you will use chips to tip the croupier. If you are using cash to play slots, you will pay the dealer with cash. It is also important while tipping to have a smile on your face. The dealers that are serving you are human beings that working long shifts so be on your best behaviour when giving them the gratuity. We even encourage have a friendly conversation with them to show them you appreciate the good work they are doing. If you are far too robotic for a smile or a conversation, then be on your best behaviour and at least be polite to them.
Now that you understand the very basic requirements involved in tipping, let’s dig deeper into specific regions and their tipping etiquettes.
Australia & New Zealand
Ask fellow kiwis to mention the main landmarks in Australia and the Sydney Opera House is likely to come out on top of the polls. The tourism hot spot has attracted visitors from all over the globe but the last few years have seen visitors flocking to their lavish casino resorts as well. When it comes to tipping in Australia, because the dealers are on high wages, tipping is not encouraged. In fact, tipping is prohibited as it is considered a form of bribery which can raise questions about the fairness of a casino.
Us Kiwis are more relaxed about this and while we don’t consider tipping to be customary, it is always a good gesture to give a small gratuity when you have received exceptional service. It is not expected but is a good way to show your appreciation nonetheless. The reason why there is a slight bit of confusion regarding tipping in both New Zealand and Australia is due to the precedence that is set by American tourists. In America, tipping is a big part of the service industry so when tourists travel to this side of the globe they undertake actions they are used to back at home.
Move over Las Vegas, there’s a new sheriff in town! Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as the gambling Mecca of the world. The type of customers that come to Macau are more valuable leading to bigger turn over for the casinos. As a result, Macau has seen a boom in casino resorts being built on a yearly basis.
The tipping culture however does not take any cues from Las Vegas and is done in typical Chinese fashion. If you are having dinner, then a 10% service charge is added to your bill so you won’t have to tip extra. The same logic is applied when you play at a casino. Unlike Australia, you are allowed to tip the dealers but it should not go beyond the 10% mark. Having said that, you are not obliged to tip at all as it is not customary.
This is probably one place where we would not completely encourage tipping as the tips are handed over to the big bosses. So while your gesture will be appreciated by the dealers, the beneficiary of the tips will be the casino owners and you will end up lining the pockets of the super rich with even more money.
Walk into most casinos in Monaco and you will most likely be asked to pay an entrance fee. This coupled with the fact that the dealers are very well paid means that you are not obliged to tip here. In fact, the tipping rules are carried over from France and when visiting the luxurious casinos, you will not be expected to tip the dealers.
UK and Europe
Until a few years ago, tipping was considered illegal in the UK until the 2005 Gaming Act. Even though this law is no longer in effect, gamblers in the UK don’t generally tip the dealers. This is a shame considering UK has some of the most impressive casinos such as Hippodrome that attract VIPs from all over the world.
Same mentality is carried over to other parts of Europe as well. You are not obliged to tip but travel more towards the east and tipping becomes more acceptable. Though tipping more than 5% in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands can backfire on you and you be labelled ostentatious or rude!
Going from countries where tipping is not obligatory and even frowned upon to the Caribbean where tipping is fairly standard practice. Regardless of whether you are enjoying your favourite roulette games in Aruba, Canary Islands or Dominican Republic, you will be required to tip generously. In terms of how much you need to tip, just think about the percentage you would give in America and you will be just fine.
You may have come across Hollywood movies where the waiting staff chase down the customers for their less than generous tips. This occurrence is not just reserved for the movies and can happen to you in real life if you don’t tip at least the 15% mark that is considered customary. Tipping is a big part of the American economy as the minimum wage for customer facing staff is ridiculously low. As a result, the staff expect to earn a living both from their salary and the tips you give them.
Just to give you an indication, the dealers at most renowned Las Vegas casinos can earn upwards of $100,000 annually in tips. Therefore, if you do embark upon your dream vacation to Las Vegas and head over to a casino, make sure you are generous when it comes to tipping the croupiers.
Who do I tip?
If you are visiting a casino in Las Vegas and want that extra bit of service, then you need to tip nearly all customer facing staff. Want drinks while enjoying a game of blackjack? Then you need to tip the staff every time they bring you one. Tipping the concierge is a big thing in USA if you are looking to access special perks not available to mere mortals. So the more appropriate question is much moolah are you carrying with you on your trip to the casino. The more you spend on the staff in USA, the better your overall experience will be at the casino.
How Do I Tip?
We covered this briefly at the start of the article but you need to tip with the gambling currency of the game you are playing. It is important that you never hand the money directly to the dealer. The best way of doing it is to place the currency just outside the betting zone and letting the dealer know that it is for him or her.
If you manage to outwit other players in a game of poker, then sharing the winnings with the dealer is standard practice. Anywhere between one and five percent of the pot is a good percentage to be sharing with the dealer.
How Do I Tip online?
With the advent of Evolution Gaming, the concept of live casinos has changed forever. While the thrill of land based casinos can never be fully replicated online, Evolution Gaming is trying its best to get you as close to that experience as possible. Not only can you talk to the dealer but you can also leave them a tip. Some casino games will have a tip box where you can leave tips discreetly. On the flip side, you can choose to completely forgo tipping in an online casino altogether. At the end of the day, the tips are not getting you the extra treatment that you would get at land based casinos so might just be best to concentrate on winning the game instead.
Can I Pay tips in the form of Bets?
Yes. You can always tip the dealer by betting on their behalf. This can be done on the roulette table by informing the dealer that the bet is for them. In a game of craps, you can bet two ways and split the winnings. In blackjack there are a few different ways of doing this. You can place the dealer’s chip ahead of yours. This way the tip chip is half in and half out the betting circle and the dealer gets to keep the bet and any winnings. The other way of doing this is putting the tip chip on top of your bet.