10 Interesting and Unusual Las Vegas Facts

Here are 10 Las Vegas facts that you might not be familiar with.

Online Gambling

You can play online for real money while in Las Vegas again. Nevada is one of the several US states leading the revolution for American online casino players. The market is very different now than it was prior to 2006 and the UIGEA act, but it is returning. Many land-based casinos have been developing their own apps for online sports betting, poker and casino games as well. I’ve been enjoying the playMGM app for betting at MGM properties.

The Englishman That Sold Everything to Play Roulette

Ashley Revell risked everything … and won! In 2004, an Englishman in Las Vegas risked everything to truly go Double or Nothing. He sold everything, even his clothes, before betting $135,300 on a spin of the roulette wheel at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The ball landed on Red 7 and Revell doubled his money to $270,600. He then tipped the dealer $600 and disappeared from the casino.

A few years later a group of American kids bet a quarter million dollars at the Golden Gate (next door to the Plaza) as part of an MTV show. It is the currently the largest single roulette bet on record. They lost.

Atomic Tourism

Before Las Vegas became the entertainment capital of the world, the city attracted tourists in the 1950s who wanted to watch atomic bomb tests.  If you want to find out a lot more about Atomic testing and its impact on Nevada, visit the National Atomic Testing Museum, just a short ride from the Strip at 755 E Flamingo.

The 1500-square-meter Atomic Radiation Shelter

In 1964, during the Cold War, the wealthy businessman Girard B. Henderson was afraid of the consequences of radiation and had to build a 1,500-square-foot villa in the underground of Las Vegas. There was a swimming pool, two whirlpools, a huge barbecue, a front garden and a guesthouse, all in the style of the 60s. In addition, the lights could even be regulated to simulate sunrise and sunset, daylight, dusk and the night sky.

The Tunnel People

Under the light-flooded streets of the city, there is a large network of tunnels. Originally built as a flood precaution, these tunnels have become home to more than 1,000 homeless people. You can read more about this in Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas

You can watch an interview with the author here.


The Brightest City in the World

Tokyo, New York and Shanghai may be very bright, but from space, Las Vegas appears to be the brightest city in the world according to NASA. The  Luxor’s Light Beam, which is the world’s most powerful beam of light, is a big reason for that.

Large Hotels

You probably already know that there are many huge hotel complexes in Las Vegas. In total, Sin City has 14 of the 25 largest hotels in the world (based on the number of rooms, with more than 65,000 hotel rooms). Many of the hotels, like the MGM Grand, were the largest at the time they were built.

Michael Jackson’s Hotel

In 2007, there were reports that Michael Jackson wanted to build a hotel and a 15-meter robot replica of himself that would move through the desert of Las Vegas. The gigantic robot was to be visible to passengers arriving at Las Vegas McCarran Airport and serve as a publicity stunt for Michael Jackson’s hotel. This was just one of many proposed, but never developed, hotel ideas during the 2000’s.

Brahma Shrine

There is a Buddhist Brahma Shrine not only in Las Vegas, but it is in a prime location on the Strip. It is located in front of Caesars Palace, near the new Hell’s Kitchen restaurant. It was cast in Thailand in 1983 and dedicated in Las Vegas in 1984. The shrine is a replica of the Brahma Shrine at the Erawan Hotel in Bangkok and is the only one of its kind in the Western world.

Vegan options at all Wynn Las Vegas restaurants.

The Wynn Resort is one of the ritzier resorts in Las Vegas, but within that decadence, you can find many vegan dining options. In 2010, Wynn adopted a vegan diet and required that all of the restaurants at his resort also had vegan options. At first it was something you had to search out and inquire about, but now you can find a page on the Wynn website about the vegan and vegetarian options