UNLV Gaming Law Journal


The act of tipping defies explanation under traditional economic models. While the tip is voluntary in nature, it is difficult to ascertain precisely what consumers receive in return. Even more difficult to determine is exactly who or what the consumer is tipping. Is it the person he hands the tip to, or is it the underlying service giving rise to the tip? This question is the basis for two lawsuits, which as of the time of this writing are making their way through Nevada’s state and federal courts.

These cases illustrate the difficult nature of determining the respective rights of parties to the tip. Section I of this Note develops a theory to assist the practitioner in conceptualizing those rights. I call this theory the “Nexus of the Tip.” Section II reviews the historical underpinning and the current practice of tipping, and also reviews the social and economic literature that has attempted to describe the contours of the custom. Section II.A will introduce the reader to the tipping bestowment inquiry, which defines initial parameters for determining how and to whom a consumer intends to tip. Section II.B introduces the reader to the alternative to the tip, the service charge.

Publication Citation

3 UNLV Gaming L.J. 129 (2012)

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Gaming Law Commons