A few days ago we wrote about the etymology of the word tip . But how are we supposed to do that, tip in a casino? Tipping is, if you have to believe experts, in practice mainly a matter of etiquette. That is the whole of culturally determined rules of politeness and manners.
Unfortunately, that is not entirely correct. Tipping in casinos appears to differ per country indeed, so culturally different. But it can differ per casino. And even worse, the rules are also frequently changed. We are going to try to make it somewhat transparent.
Tipping in Macau
The city of Macau moved well past Las Vegas in gambling revenue a few years ago . We therefore start with this former Portuguese colony. Portugal handed over governance to China in 1999, who immediately legalized gambling in Macau to boost the area’s economy. There was no experience with tips.
Tipping is not necessary in Macau. Restaurants in a casino charge a 10% service fee. These have already been processed in the bill. You don’t have to tip in the casino either. But it is allowed, for example if you win.
General advice is: never give more than 10% and remember that in most casinos the recipient should hand over the tip to management. What it ultimately does with it depends on the tipping policy that differs per casino. It is therefore very questionable whether the casino employee will see anything of your tip.
Macau has general rules per game, which can almost be read like a law . In some cases it contains rules about giving tips, or actually receiving them. However, each casino in Macau deals with these rules in its own way.
For example, Article 18 of the Baccarat Rules states that the dealer must charge 5% commission on the payout. Tipping on top of that is not useful. But you can also play no-commission Baccarat in Macau. In that case, tipping is customary, but not mandatory.
That 5% commission is for the dealer, they call it ‘tea money’ (almost like drinking money with our tip). Bank money is part of the rules of the game in Blackjack and Poker. There the ‘commission’ goes to the casino. Because dealers don’t change games, they are at a disadvantage at Blackjack and Poker, compared to their colleagues at Baccarat. But so are floor managers, waitresses and other casino employees. So we keep in mind that in many cases all tips and commissions given go to management and we hope it is shared fairly. You can then let tipping depend on your mood.
Las Vegas and American casinos
Because not everyone is in contact with the public, not all employees can receive tips. This creates a recurring discussion at casinos in Las Vegas and other US cities. But there are also differences among employees who can receive tips, sometimes due to practical circumstances, sometimes due to the rules of a game. In addition, the discussion is also fed by other sentiments and ideas. Such as the idea that tipping is a form of bribery and encourages dishonesty.
From all angles, the tipping debate in the United States has been going on since 1900 and perhaps earlier. That makes an unambiguous answer about the etiquette around tipping in American casinos difficult.
Tipping in American casinos
Before we say anything about tipping in US casinos, there is one more thing to note. For many American workers, especially in hospitality and casinos, tips are an important addition to a low minimum income. In other words, a tip is very welcome there. However, there are more and more states that require a higher minimum wage to be paid. So are the states with casinos that prefer not to tip players.
Most visitors of OnlineCasinoGround who go to a casino in America will certainly play and stay overnight in Las Vegas. A casino hotel can have its own rules. However, the general standard in early 2020 was that every service provider receives a tip. So you should all tip the doorman, luggage carrier, room service etcetera… in principle, because it is not mandatory. And unlike Macau, the recipient is allowed to keep the tip themselves at almost all casinos in America.
Tipping at Holland Casino
In the Netherlands, the standard is easier to discover, because there is only one casino company for the time being. There all employees receive a good income in line with the market. Tipping is therefore not mandatory or necessary. But tipping in a casino is a beautiful tradition in the Netherlands and is certainly appreciated.
There are no guidelines. It used to be customary when winning with a ‘square’ (one number), to give the stake to the croupier. So if you put in 10 euros, you will receive 350 euros + your 10 euros deposit at plein. You then gave that 10 euros to the croupier. However, this way of tipping is disappearing.
Holland Casino also has a clear tipping policy. All tips go into the tip jar. This is managed by the Stichting Beheer Fooigelden. Via an allocation key, all employees with a tip-receiving position receive a share specified in their collective labor agreement. Money that lies on the floor in foreign casinos sometimes also goes into the tip pool. At Holland Casino, however, there is a separate charity pot for this. So don’t drop your money when you tip.
Use in some other countries
In Australia, tipping is officially prohibited in casinos. The main reason for this is the danger of being accused of bribery and / or dishonesty. In neighboring New Zealand, a casino employee does not expect a tip either. For both countries, they simply have no experience with giving and receiving tips.
In the UK , tipping was prohibited by law. That has changed, but hardly any player tips. Only tournaments and private clubs with high stakes sometimes give tips. That is mainly the influence of foreign players.
Most casinos in Germany are chic, the drinks are not free and the employees are well paid. Tipping is considered inappropriate there. It is allowed. At the checkout, German players use the rounding method as an alternative (eg a bill of 8.20 euros is paid with 10 euros). Then it seems more lazy than a tip.
You could roughly say that tipping is uncommon across Europe. Germans may consider tipping to be indecent, in other countries the tradition of tipping simply does not exist. If you are enthusiastic about your profit, you can let a croupier or other employee share it. But keep it modest. With an excessive tip, more than 5%, you will quickly be seen as a showdown.
Antilles and surroundings
If you want to get rid of your money by giving tips in casinos then you have to go to Curacao. In this, after Malta, the largest casino licenser, you can easily get rid of it. They love to tip. This also applies to all countries in the Caribbean, such as Aruba, Puorto Rico and Bahamas. They like high tips, but you decide how much you give.
In Caribbean countries, incomes in casinos are low. You can take this into account when you consider the amount of your tip. According to some, it is wise to start from the tipping standards in the United States.
More specific about tipping
What are concrete amounts or numbers that you should consider in countries where tipping is customary. One advice is, stick to the applicable standard in a country. Let’s take the United States as a starting point.
A general guideline is $ 1 tip per drink, per four suitcases etcetera, $ 2 for the concierge, shuttle driver, room service etcetera, $ 5 for the chambermaid, the valet parking attendant, etcetera. You don’t have to tip a handyman. But remember the taxi drivers. They expect a 15% to 20% tip on top of the fare.
At the table
It is a bit more difficult at the tables and you can act in different ways. When you are going to play single games, sessions or whatever you want to call it, give at least $ 5 when you leave the table. You can also shove a dollar to the dealer every now and then while playing. Or you put them visibly aside and give the total amount when you or the dealer leaves the table. And finally, you can give an amount, at least $ 5, when switching dealers at your table.
If you win a large amount, it goes without saying that you give a generous tip. Then you should think of 5% of your profit. It is most pleasant for the dealer when you give the tip in cash. This means that you must have enough cash with you. That is not always convenient or sufficient. When paying with chips, clearly show that it is for the dealer and not a stake in the game. This prevents problems with casino management for you and the dealer.
You can use the above guideline anywhere in the United States. In several places, far from the big cities, ordinary employees are also satisfied with smaller amounts. This is different for dealers. The above-mentioned general guideline applies throughout the country. And you can also use it in the Caribbean.
Tipping online is obviously a different story. There are no casino employees who hold a door open for you, take your coat or bring a drink. And if your partner or young brother brings that drink, you don’t tip them. You don’t expect the unknown floor manager behind the digital slot machine to ask for a tip either.
Still, some online casinos are currently experimenting with tipping variants. They create situations to encourage players to provide financial support, ie supplements to the basic income of employees. It seems doomed to failure. Only at some of the online live casinos tipping works somewhat for games like roulette and bacarat.