It’s time to disperse the top 5 myths about this interesting city!
- Las Vegas is all about gambling.
It is not! Only 40% of the total revenue of the MGM-Mirage is obtained from it, and we are talking about one of the largest casinos in Las Vegas! The remainder is drawn from the city’s fantastic hotel rooms, wonderful variety of food and drink, thrilling attractions, and the choices of Las Vegas shows for kids that is second to none!
Did you know that, since 2006, Macau has become the gambling capital of the world, with Singapore drawing a close second? The Southern China gambling enclave of Macau last year registered a gross gaming revenue of $33.5 billion – five and a half times the number that was most likely created along the once globally dominant Las Vegas Strip during the same period!
- Las Vegas is costly.
Not true. There are plenty of more affordable options if you know where to look, and here are just a few of them. For example, Las Vegas offers several free stunning attractions, such as the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand Hotel where there are large viewing areas to watch the lions. A very generous view can be had as the lions often walk right alongside the glass separating them from the throngs of people staring at them. Next on the list could be the dancing fountains right in front of the Bellagio Hotel, which is a display of water, music, and light carefully choreographed to mesmerize its audience. Other available attractions include the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall or feel the thrill of a computer-generated thunderstorm as it hits the hallways of the Miracle Mile shopping mall. The rain pours, the thunder booms, and the lightning cracks. The show mimics a ferocious North African thunderstorm.
- Las Vegas is controlled by the Mafia.
No, it is not! Although gambling was part of Las Vegas’ life long before the mob got their hands on the city, it is common knowledge that guys like Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, and Meyer Lansky played a big part in getting investment moving there. They’ve been widely credited as well with the evolution and spread of organized crime in the States. It all began in the aftermath of the Second World War, when the Mafia had realized the moneymaking potential offered by Las Vegas and, in the 1940s, Las Vegas and the Mafia became tightly associated. However, they were not able to keep the law off their backs forever, and ultimately, the 1980s saw the FBI sweep into Las Vegas, planning and overseeing the sale of the Mafia owned casinos to legitimate owners.
- Prostitution is legal in Las Vegas.
This is the myth that confuses. The truth is under Nevada state law, any county with a population lower than 400,000 is allowed to license brothels if it so wishes. The population of Las Vegas, as of 2010, is 583,756 and counting! As of 2008, 28 legal brothels endured in Nevada but, from 2009, prostitution was made illegal under state law in Clark County, which so happens to include Vegas. Brothels have been in continuation in Nevada since the old mining days of the 1800s and were first licensed in 1971. The legendary Mustang Ranch operated from 1971 right up to 1999, when it was given up to the federal government following a series of tax fraud and racketeering persuasions. Nevada has enacted laws against the engagement of prostitution outside of licensed brothels and these are forbidden from advertising their services in those counties where brothel prostitution is illegal, and this is even though this particular state law was ruled unconstitutional in 2007.
- Las Vegas is not for children.
Don’t consider for one moment that Vegas is not suitable for kids or families. As far back as 1976, when casino-style gaming was legalized in Atlantic City, N.J., it became apparent to Las Vegas casino owners that, to keep ahead of its game, Nevada should be offering more, and hence the race to become the exhilarating family holiday resort that the city is today. For example, some activities for kids in Las Vegas could include anything from a visit to the Mirage Hotel, which features Buccaneer Bay, where a full-scale pirate man o’war and British frigate engage in a fierce exchange of cannon fire, to the Grand Slam Canyon water theme park at Circus Circus Hotel. The entertainment park, a takeoff on the Grand Canyon, includes a 90-foot replica of the Havasu Falls, 140-foot mountains, and a surging river for the more adventurous to ride the river rapids and drop over a 50-foot waterfall. Awesome! From thrills and spills to a more mellow visit to M&M’s World, a mouth-watering experience, and from the interactive Las Vegas Zoo, where kids can feed the resident birds and goats by hand, to the Fall of Atlantis exhibition staged at Caesars Palace, there is something of interest for all the family to enjoy. Let’s not forget the array of free nature activities either! At the Clark County Wetlands Park, the family can enjoy hiking, bird viewing, ponds, and scenic views in this park, which spans 100-acres. The preserve is open from dawn until dusk with an Information Center that is open from 9 am to 3 pm.