Most people understand the risks of traveling with money in urban cities, but Vegas is a particularly hot target when it comes to theft and similar crimes. Every day there are people winning ludicrous amounts of cash in the city’s casinos, and every day there are wealthy tourists roaming the streets in search of ways to empty their pockets.
This is why it can be unbelievably easy for criminals to steal from these poor individuals. And more often than not, they get away with it if the victim hasn’t taken any steps to prevent it in the first place. To ensure you never have to come face to face with such an ordeal, here are some precautionary measures you can take for whenever you’re carrying cash in Las Vegas, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
Purchase with Credit Cards
The more you can pay using your credit or debit card to cover your stay in Vegas the better. All casinos, restaurants, bars, club, hotels and general entertainment facilities all accept card payments, and if you’re paying in a different currency, the exchange rates are often much lower than the rates for converting cash.
The most important reason why it’s better to pay on a card is because if you do encounter an instance where your wallet or purse is stolen, you can cancel your cards immediately. If cash is taken from you, once it’s gone there’s not much hope of ever seeing it again. Your card, on the other hand, can be replaced in a few days without a dime missing from your account.
Small Cash Reserves
It’s always good to have a little bit of cash on you when you’re exploring the city. There are plenty of opportunities to get some great street food and market knick-knacks in Vegas, but you can’t always pay for these purchases on card. You can’t always tip the waiter without cash either.
Ideally, you should take all of your spending money out before you leave Vegas to avoid any exchange rates or transaction charges withdrawing from ATMs. Although most of the machines have fairly low fees in the casinos, you’ll be spending less and can easily take out what you need from your budget for each day.
Use Traveler’s Checks
Old school traveler’s checks are still cashed at many Las Vegas casinos and they can be cashed in at restaurants as well. Although they aren’t as common these days, they are still very easy to cash in and can help you avoid excessive ATM charges and limits. There are some banks you can order travel checks from directly without incurring any purchase fees or charges too.
Casino Credit Lines
People with the intention of gambling in Las Vegas can also opt for casino credit. Most of the city’s casinos offer this as a means of playing the games without having to exchange cash for chips or make a card payment. To avoid any delays with being approved, it’s always advised to apply for the credit with the casino before your visit.
You can do this at the casino’s credit office, or inquire at the cage over the phone; however, note that it is important to make sure you have enough in your bank account to match the amount of credit you’re asking for. If you want to apply for $2,000 but only have $200 in your account, you’ll likely be rejected once the casino has run credit checks on your application.
Don’t Flaunt It
Nobody is stupid enough to walk around Vegas with a million dollars in their backpack, but if you have scored big at a casino, it’s never a good idea to advertise it. Unless you’re already rich and have body guards to protect you from getting mugged, you shouldn’t make it obvious that you’re flush with cash.
This can be defined in everything from your choice of outfit to your mode of transport. Wandering around the city wearing a diamond-studded necklace and a Rolex on your wrist isn’t exactly a low profile, nor is driving the streets of downtown at night in a Ferrari.
Wear Protective Clothing
If you must keep all of your cash on you, consider buying a money belt or something similar which can be concealed under your clothing. When you want to take any money out, make sure you’re digging through your stash somewhere private and discreet like a bathroom.
It’s also not a bad idea to invest in a separate wallet if you want to carry cash. While it’s still devastating if you are pick-pocketed or targeted in any way, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to have both wallets stolen. Put less cash in the decoy and your real stash somewhere thieves are less likely to find.
Keep Your Cash in a Safe
If you are staying in the hotel of the casino where you won your money, don’t just assume your cash will be OK there either; there are cameras on the gaming floor, but not every corridor or bathroom is monitored outside of the gaming floor. This can leave you vulnerable to others in the casino who may have seen you win, so aim to secure it in the hotel safe as soon as possible and remove it when you’re ready to check out and leave.
Naturally, the best way to ensure your cash is safe while you’re in Vegas is to keep it locked as far away from you as possible in a bank account. But if you absolutely must carry it with you, do so with caution and don’t forget to use common sense. As much as you might want to splurge and have a great time, it’s not going to be the most memorable vacation if you come home completely broke, deflated, and the latest victim of a theft.
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