Michael Jordan once tipped a waitress a $5 chip for bringing him a drink. Wayne Gretzky stopped the waitress, removed the $5 chip, grabbed one of the many $100 chips on Jordan’s side of the table, and gave it to her. Then he said, “That’s how we tip in Las Vegas, Michael.
People who work in the casino industry have hilarious stories about celebrities and their out-on-the-town exploits, usually they involve some famous celebrity doing something dumb in a drunken stupor. These stories can be funny or interesting.
Rich Strafella, a VP and long-time gaming exec at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, was recently asked to share his favorite celebrity story.
“I remember a night when Wayne Gretzky insulted Michael Jordan at the table. It was a private salon game. Michael had ordered a drink from the cocktail waitress, and he gave her a five-dollar chip. Wayne took it off the cocktail waitress’s tray, gave it back to Michael, grabbed a hundred-dollar chip from Michael’s stack and put it on the cocktail waitress’s tray. Then he said, “That’s how we tip in Las Vegas, Michael.”
Charles Barkley told a story about Michael Jordan in front of him. Charles was going to give a homeless man 5 dollars and Jordan stopped him. Jordan said in front of them, “if he can take the time to say,” can you spare a dollar”, he can spend the time to say, “welcome to McDonald’s, can I take your order”.
Jordan’s teammate Scottie Pippen was also notoriously cheap and earned the nickname “No Tippin’ Pippen” among restaurant workers. One of the blackjack delaers claim to have experienced the same: “I dealt blackjack to MJ and a few other Bulls players at a Connecticut casino back in the day. Can confirm he is a jerk to deal to anyway. No tips from him or his crew for the few hours I dealt to them in the high limit area and an all around rude attitude.”
“You pocket 100% of the tips you don’t give.” – Michael Jordan