Road to SHRM: Did You Know?

  • Las Vegas keeps a book of people prohibited from entering, managing or owning a casino. A state that has legalized gambling doesn’t want to risk additional federal regulations. In the early 60s public officials in Nevada were under intense federal pressure to curb the influence of organized crime in the operation of Las Vegas casinos. The Nevada Gaming Control Board created a black leather-bound book where the names of people with a “notorious or unsavory reputation” would be placed. People who make it into the book are prohibited from owning, managing, or even entering a Nevada casino. Once a person’s name makes it into the penalty for entering a casino is punishable by up to a year in jail. Casinos that allow a banned person into their establishment risk losing their gaming license. Frank Sinatra had to forfeit the gaming license for his northern Nevada casino after mob boss Sam Giancana visited the hotel.
  • The lights of the Las Vegas strip have long reputed to be the brightest in the world. In fact, at 42.3 billion candela, the Luxor Sky Beam atop the famed hotel is the brightest light in the world. When the lights are fully operational, the room heats up to 300degreesF, and the beam can be seen up to 275 miles away by aircraft.
  • The Longest running show in Las Vegas history was Les Folies Berger beginning on December 24, 1959 and running until March 28, 2009. In that time span, 80 cast members performed the show over 29,000 times at the Tropicana.
  • Prostitution in not legal in Las Vegas. Nevada is known, for better or worse, is being the only state that permits legal prostitution. But the law only allows prostitution in counties with a population of less than 400,000 people. Why is that particular number the cutoff? Because when the law was enacted, Las Vegas wanted to keep the brothels out of Clark County, where the city is located.
  • Slot machines take in over 60 per cent of a casino’s earnings even though video slot machines are required to pay out at least 75 per cent on average. That isn’t to say a particular machine will pay out regularly. It can go days without a significant win, or cough up two big payouts in a short period of time. The slot machine you typically see is fashioned after the Liberty Bell model, invented in 1899 by Charles Fey.
  • Can you actually live the dream and wander around drink in hand? It turns out that the answer is yes—but with a caveat. Within the city limits, you may have an open container in public as long as the establishment where you bought your drink allows you to leave the premises with it. Your beverage cannot be in a metal or glass container—so no beer cans. And watch where you wander with your drink! If you have it within 1,000 feet of a school, place of worship, or hospital you will be risking an unplanned tour of the Clark County Detention Center.
  • Aviator and billionaire Howard Hughes rented the entire top two floors of the Desert Inn in November 1966. After staying past the 10-day reservation, he was asked to leave in December, but instead negotiated a $13million purchase of the resort, which closed on March 1, 1967. In one instance, he ordered 200 gallons of Baskin-Robbin’s Banana Nut ice cream during his stay. He quickly tired of the flavor, and the hotel served free Banana Nut for a year
  • The world-famous fountains at the Bellagio consume 12 million gallons of water a year with roughly 10,000 shows, using a private well under the property for the spectacle. For a mere $250,000, you can push a button that will set off the show whenever you want! A package at Hyde Bellagio provides a 30-Liter bottle of champaign and a gold plated box holding the button to the fountains. Once you press the button, the Bellagio team sends a signal to the production crew, and your fountain show begins.
  • Did you know the Las Vegas Strip isn’t even in Las Vegas? It is actually located just south of the city limits in unincorporated Winchester and Paradise. Running 4.2 miles long and originally called Arrowhead Highway or the Los Angeles Highway, this strip of land was purportedly named by Los Angeles police officer Guy McAfee after the Sunset Strip in LA.
  • Oddly enough, the state of Nevada doesn’t allow a lottery. According to Article IV, Sec. 24 of the state constitution, "No lottery shall be authorized by this state, nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed." Numerous attempts to overturn this have failed although church raffles and charitable organization fundraisers are now allowed.