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Tipping Guide12 March 2005
Many people in the casino are in the service business and that means they rely on tips to make ends meet. For some reason, certain jobs in our society have been deemed jobs where the one served should tip the server. I'm not exactly sure why we tip a waiter who serves us our soup but we don't tip a nurse who serves us our medicine. I was once a waiter, so I can tell you, those tips were almost the be-all and end-all of my salary, which was, at the time, 90 cents per hour. I've never been a nurse; but I have been a patient and a visitor to the hospital and I haven't once seen a nurse tipped for good service.
Be that as it may, tips are a part of life and I am a firm believer in tipping those whose lives depend on tips.
But how much should one tip?
The following is merely my opinion on how much and who to tip in the casino world. If I've left anyone out, that means your job hasn't really crossed my path often enough to be in my consciousness. So I'm sorry if I forgot you.
Valet parkers should get $2 to $3 when they retrieve your car. Remember valeting it saves you time walking from the garage to the casino, is safer for your car (usually) and is a wonderful way to avoid some of those bad guys who sometimes show up in self-parking garages looking to steal your car, your wallet and maybe your life.
"I lug therefore I am!" That's anyone who moves something for you from point A to point B. Bellhops should get $1 to $2 per piece of luggage lugged to room or car. Once in a casino, if maintenance or house keeping brings you something special, like an extra bed or cot, a refrigerator, a tip of several dollars would be nice.
Waiters and waitresses should get 20 percent of the pre-tax check if they are friendly and professional. If they are cold and professional, give them 15 percent. If they are disdainful give them 10 percent. If they are disdainful, haughty, arrogant, verbally abusive, aloof, just ask them how long they worked in New York and leave them nothing. Maitre-d's in swanky restaurants that bring you to your table and place the napkin on your lap and give you the wine list are a tough sell to me. There's really no service here that I can see yet for some reason this group seems to expect tips. I'll leave this up to you. I usually don't give anything unless I know that the person actually got me the preferred seating arrangement or held my reservation if I was a few minutes late. Then I give a few dollars.
Dealers should be tipped by putting up a bet for them. There is no rule of thumb that says what a dealer's tip should be; as there is with waiters and waitresses. A few bucks by a red chip player, a few reds by a green chip player, a few more reds, maybe even a green, for a black and purple chip player, every 20 minutes to 40 minutes would be generous. When you win an epic jackpot, a tip is generally expected by the person who pays it to you usually the change person (I don't quite know why, after all what did they actually do for you?). Follow your instincts here. Luckily I've never had to worry about this because I've never won an epic jackpot -- I've never won a non-epic jackpot, either.
If you work out in the spa, it is customary to leave a tip if the attendants have been attending to you. Did they bring you water? Did they see to your towel? Fifteen to 20 percent of the spa fee is a generous tip. By the way, for masseuses and trainers different clubs have different rules. Don't be afraid to ask: "Is it customary to tip the masseuse and trainer?" when you make your reservation. My wife, the beautiful A.P. enjoys a good massage and she says, "$10 to $20 depending on how long the massage is." When I massage her my tip is a kiss, which is fine with me.
Maids should be tipped generously. To me, they have the roughest job in the hotel (my god, they clean strangers' bathrooms!) and yet folks tend to give them $1 a day. No, no, a thousand times no. I'd rather stiff one of those good fellows who lead you to your table at a Las Vegas show, than be cheap with a maid. Five bucks a day! The problem for the poor maids is the fact that you tip them at the end of your stay in a casino-hotel, after you've (probably) lost all your money and when you're suddenly trying to economize. So to avoid that, to assure really, really prompt service, I tip the maid immediately upon my arrival. I find out who my maid will be, I introduce myself to her, tell her I'm staying in such and such a room, and that this (the money) is for her. I also make it known that I will tip at the end of the trip as well. An important caveat here: sometimes the maid who slaved in your room is off on the day you leave to go home. You leave a tip and her substitute gets it. Make a point of finding out who your maid is and leave the tip with her directly or with her supervisor. And remember, she cleans your toilet!
For economical gamblers, you should figure in advance what and whom you will most likely tip and bring along a special "tip sheet" and envelope. This way your tips don't come out of your gambling stake.
I know that some people don't like to tip certain other people but let's face it - when in Rome, you do like the Romans; when in a tipping world, you should tip as well.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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