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The sun is so hot it hurts to wander outside for too long. By sunset, the shimmering lights are alive and so are the people. It’s Las Vegas and it’s called your name. No longer is it an ad in the newspaper, an article in a magazine or a commercial on T.V. It’s alive and surrounding you. Feel the vibe? The cool, crisp air of the casinos invite you inside and the bells ringing from the slot machines are music to your ears. Find a seat, buy a roll of coins and you're in! Wait a minute! Free drinks??? This can’t be real! Yes it is. The magic of Vegas is very real. Did you ever think for a second that maybe you too could be that mysterious, sensual cocktail server actually delivering the drinks to casino guests? Has the lure of Vegas caught you in its web so that you are possibly considering the move to this twenty-four hour mecca? It is possible and it’s quite easy, too.

Be confident! Of course all of the newspapers are going to list casino cocktail positions for the “experienced” only and preferably two years at that. Don’t get discouraged! Everybody has to start somewhere! Beverage managers are more interested in training and molding a fresh, new face rather than putting up with the antics of the older perhaps bitter crew of ladies that run to every new casino opening out there.

Dress appropriately for the interview. Business casual would be your best bet. Casino representatives want to see women that are classy and confident, but not too over-the-top. Try to study up on some drinks if you have the chance. You will most likely be quizzed on simple drink concoctions and how to garnish them as well. My winning theory was always, “When in doubt, throw a cherry in it!”

Be very aware of the fact that there are three shifts in Vegas to choose from. Day shift, of course, which is normally 9am-5pm. Then there’s swing shift which is your 5pm-1am shift or perhaps the 6pm-2am shift. All casinos vary on their shift times. There is the graveyard shift (normally the most hated) from 1am-9am or 2am-10am. If you are lucky enough to be opening a casino and offered a shift, consider it to be the luckiest day of your life. A cocktail waitress’s main goal is to have a steady shift that accommodates her lifestyle. If you are applying for a position at an established casino that has only a few openings, understand that you will be hired in as what is called “extra board.” Extra-board cocktail servers have to be patient. They are on-call a majority of the time and could work day shift one day, swing the next and graveyard the day after that. It can be very tiring, frustrating and discouraging. The good news is that extra board girls fill in for other waitresses who may be sick or on vacation. That means they may get to work good sections like the pits (card games and dice tables) or dollar slots. If you’re still not following me as to how that could be so wonderful, allow me to elaborate. That means GOOD MONEY.

Did somebody say money? There is definitely money to be made in Las Vegas and I don’t necessarily mean at the black jack tables, unless of course you happen to be serving one. Maybe you’ve heard stories from friends about the amazing amount of money that cocktail servers make in one night or every night! Well the truth is that yes, the money is really good, but chances are that the truth behind those exaggerated stories are few and far between. Unless you are unbelievably blessed with a pit as your section on swing shift, chances are you will be making around the same amount of money as the rest of the cocktail waitresses in every casino in Las Vegas. How do I know this? Gossip spreads fast when it comes to money. All waitresses compare. No matter what section you work, whether it’s the nickel slots, quarter to dollar slots, the card tables or high rollers, you are definitely leaving work with at least $150.

On average, most cocktail waitress make $200 a night. Here is where it might get tricky. Most people that come to Vegas and like slot machines tend to gravitate toward the nickel slots for some unknown, mysterious reason. A cocktail server in nickel slots will most often get tipped lots of nickels, which can be so discouraging, but the section will most likely be overloaded with people. More people, more drinks, more nickels do add up, but the work is more tedious. How does it all even out? The harder you work, the more money you make. The nickel and quarter slot girls will work so much harder and get tipped less, but serve more people by the end of the day. You can only work a high roller’s slot section so hard. The high roller’s section is usually not very busy. Chances are, if you bother the player, they won’t tip you at all.

The girls working the other sections may get tipped more money, but take out fewer drinks and serve less people and that is how it all evens out by the end of the shift.

The lights, the people, the money are the lure of Sin City. It’s Las Vegas, ladies. If you ever decide to place your bet and roll the dice, it could very well be the time of your life. There’s room for everybody in Vegas.

There’s room for you and it’s probably got a view. A view of the mountains in the background, the pink-tiled houses for miles and the bright lights of the city with your name on it. Be confident, never fear and good luck!