Circus Circus Las Vegas Review for May 2024

Lynsey Thompson

Updated by

Lynsey Thompson


Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated on 1st May 2024, 01:47 PM


Circus Circus is one of the most recognised casino resorts, not just in Las Vegas, but in the world.

The hotel and casino housed inside a gigantic neon-lit Circus Big Top is certainly unique and has been attracting visitors to Vegas for more than 55 years.

I remember seeing images of Circus Circus in a holiday brochure as a child and desperately wanting to go there. The iconic clown sign outside (That clown has a name by the way: Lucky), free circus shows all day every day, and an arcade to play in– what kid wouldn’t love that?

Unfortunately for me, I was an adult before I could experience the resort myself. But did it live up to my expectations? 

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♦️ Circus Circus Hotel and Casino Overview

Although Circus Circus opened in 1968, it was initially just a casino. You couldn’t actually stay in resort until 1972, when a 400-room hotel tower was built.

Circus Circus differed from other Vegas resorts in that it was the first one aimed at families. Okay so children, casinos and gambling aren’t a natural fit, but it set the resort apart from its competitors and made Las Vegas appealing as a family destination.

Saying that, in the early years Circus Circus, led by owner Jay Sarno, provided an outrageous contradiction. Along with family-friendly arcade games, circus acts and clowns, there were erotic shows, restaurants offering ‘slave girls’, topless attractions, and even a 25c peep show on-site.

Trained monkeys roamed freely in the casino, paying out jackpots and running a shop, a trained elephant called Tanya could throw dice and play slots, and guests could descend from the upper floor via a big slide or a fireman’s pole. I promise I’m not making this up. 

Despite, or maybe because of, this chaos, Circus Circus just couldn’t sustain itself. Serious gamblers didn’t like all the distractions, families didn’t like the X-rated undertones, and nobody enjoyed the $2 entry fee. Once Sarno left, things changed and it settled more into the true family-friendly resort that we see today.

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but encouraged 
👔 Dress code:❌  No
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes, but with fees
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes
♿ Wheelchair accessible:✔️ Yes
🛏️ On-site accommodation:✔️ Yes
🍴 On-site restaurant:✔️ Yes, multiple
🍹 Free drinks and snacks:

✔️ Yes, servers circulating

🚬 Smoking:✔️ Yes, but not in hotel rooms

Don't walk it

Circus Circus is not isolated anymore, but it's still a fair way from the centre-Strip where you will find attractions such as the Bellagio Fountains. My advice is to NOT try to walk it! 


Situated at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, Circus Circus has seen many properties come and go around it. At one time, it was right in the centre of all the action, surrounded by Stardust and Riveria but, when these closed, Circus Circus was left quite isolated until very recently. 

With the opening of brand new casinos Resorts World (2021) and Fontainebleau (2023), Circus Circus is back amongst a thriving Vegas scene. However, I must make it clear that Circus Circus has a very different brand (and clientele) to both of its new neighbours. 

Due to its location, transport links are tricky. You can use the Las Vegas monorail but the closest stops are on the other side of the Strip. Both Westgate and Sahara are around a 20-minute walk

The Deuce bus stops right outside though. Operating 24/7 Deuce runs from the south end of the Strip all the way to Downtown Las Vegas. Tickets cost $4 per ride, $8 for a 24-hour pass or $20 for a 3-day pass.

If you’re not a fan of buses, then most places are a taxi or rideshare drive away. Fontainebleau and Resorts World are only a five or six-minute walk, but if you wanted to walk to centre Strip it’s going to take you at least half an hour. Trust me, at the height of the Las Vegas summer, that’s not a good idea. 

Circus Circus is in Zone 3 of the fixed taxi rate from Harry Reid International Airport, so expect to pay $29 plus tip. If you arrive by car, then self-parking for visitors and guests is free. 

🎰 Circus Circus Casino Review

As I first walked into Circus Circus I was full of anticipation. It had been a dream of mine to come here and I couldn’t wait to see what was under the Big Top.

In my mind, I expected a large open space, a big tent-like structure with billowing sides, and a saw-dust performance area in the middle surrounded by slots and games. Okay, I admit, young-me kind of also hoped I’d be greeted by a clown, given a balloon and lollypop while a trapeze artist swung above my head. 

Adult-me was fully aware this was ridiculous (honest!), but I still hoped for a bit of a wow moment when I arrived, which unfortunately didn’t come. 

Initially walking in, there was no spectacle, and actually it felt like any other casino, only darker and a little more basic. I eventually stumbled across the upstairs area which, of course, is where the circus theming really comes to life. 

Downstairs though, in the actual casino, I didn’t really see much in the way of circus theming. However, you do get some ambience and atmosphere from the arcade and circus performances above.

Slots are laid out in three areas covering 123,928 square feet. The main casino, the west casino and Slots A Fun, which is a separate building out the front of the resort.

The main casino is circular with table games in the centre just a few steps down. The west casino is a big rectangular space and is situated further along a corridor.

The ceilings are low and I felt the décor was quite plain and a little dated. The air-conditioning wasn’t really working well, which made it feel stuffy and just generally not well-maintained. 

The one quirky circus element I could find in the main casino was the carousel themed circular area where you can play slots on a (slow) revolving floor.

The Slots A Fun area, however, has had a recent renovation and offers visitors a unique vintage Vegas experience. After years of neglect, this building was repackaged and relaunched in 2024.

With coin-operated slots, cheap table games and $2 drinks and snacks, they have made Slots a Fun, fun once more.

Overall the Circus Circus casino definitely had an ‘accessible to all’ vibe about it. Due to the family-friendly nature, there were large family groups, pushchairs, children crying etc which was an interesting backdrop to play games in. 

When it comes to what the guests were wearing, it was purely casual, in fact it was uber-casual, if there is such a category.

Table Games Selection

There are fewer table games at Circus Circus than you would expect for such a large casino floor. I found around 30 tables in total offering blackjack, roulette, craps and some poker pit variations. 

Bet minimums are probably the lowest you will find on the Strip at around $10 or $15 which is great for those with lower budgets, like me. 

However, just don’t expect the same standards when it comes to the tables and seating as you would find in the likes of Aria or Bellagio. These tables get used a lot and you can see it.

Classic table games:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Three Card Poker


  • Jackpot Hold’em
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Double Exposure Blackjack
  • Roll to Win Craps

All blackjack tables at Circus Circus pay 6:5, I couldn’t find any 3:2 games. The newly renovated Slot A Fun has a couple of blackjack tables, a double zero roulette and $5 Roll to Win Craps.

There is no longer a poker room at Circus Circus. 


Circus Circus gives slot players something truly unique with Slots A Fun. There’s around 75 slots in total including quarter coin games and dollar coin games. You can get change from the machines and play old-school slots like they did back in the day. 

In the main Circus Circus casino, meanwhile, there’s over 1200 slots and I found all the latest games plus some classics including:

  • Megabucks
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Buffalo
  • Magnificent 7’s 
  • Quick Hits
  • Dragon Link
  • Prosperity Pearl

I played a little bit of Buffalo Link while I was there, and could hear the PA, music and cheers from a clown show above. I did have a little smirk to myself that, although it wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be, it was certainly different to anything else I’d experienced in Las Vegas.

Bar-Top Gaming

I’m a big fan of bar-top gaming in Las Vegas. Sitting at a bar, playing a few games and getting comped drinks is my idea of a great way to spend an afternoon.

I found at least two bars offering bar-top games at Circus Circus. In the main casino, there’s a decent-sized corner bar, where the sportsbook used to be. This is a fun place to sit, watch some sports and hang out. There’s also the West Bar, which is close to the second casino floor. 

Both offer comped drinks while you play games at the bar terminals. Just pull up a chair, put your money in, and choose your game. Usually you can choose from a range of slots, video poker, blackjack and keno although the selection differs.

Bartenders offer free drinks based on your play. Some bars operate a ticket or green light system, which notifies the bartender when you’re due a drink. I didn’t get a chance to ask what system they used, but I did get a free drink while playing $1 blackjack bets at the West Bar.

Circus Circus Sportsbook

Circus Circus no longer has a sportsbook, but it does offer sports betting. I saw William Hill betting terminals positioned around the casino floor. You can also watch sports in the main casino bar but there is limited seating and TV screens. 


Not for sports fans

Circus Circus has no dedicated sportsbook, which is very strange in Vegas. Resorts World next door has an excellent one, though, so there is a good option nearby. 

Waitress Service

Las Vegas waitress service is one of the big perks to gambling in Sin City and it’s something even the best online casinos can’t offer. While you’re playing slots and table games, waitresses circulate the casino floor offering complimentary drinks in return for a tip.

The frequency and quality of the drinks, though, depends very much on the casino you’re playing in and how busy it is.

I got offered a couple of drinks while playing slots for around 30 mins, which was pretty good service. The standard of the drinks was very basic, though. No fancy glasses, fruit or premium offerings, just a plastic glass with a spirit and a mixer. 

I kind of expected this, going by the general feel of the casino. It felt very much like a ‘no frills’ space, which is fine, as long as you know what to expect. Besides a beer is just a beer, wherever you drink it.

For those who aren’t sure, waitresses will usually serve beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and a selection of cocktails. Just ask your waitress what they have. 

Whatever you order, always leave a tip of between $1 - $5 per drink. The more you tip, the more you will see of the waitress. Believe me, I have tried and tested this theory many, many times!

High Limit Gaming at Circus Circus Casino

Although I couldn’t find a separate high limit gaming area at Circus Circus, I did find a selection of slots and table games that cater to more high-stakes players.

I saw some craps tables with a $200 minimum and some slots offering $25 denominations. 

It’s fair for me to say that if you are a high-roller, and enjoy the finer things in life, then there are many more Las Vegas casinos that can offer a much more premium high-stakes service than Circus Circus.

However, you may just love the old-school vibe at this resort and want to bet big within it, which is fine too. Just don’t expect the same overall standards as you would get at Caesars Palace or Wynn.

124K Sq. Ft Venue
30+ Live Tables
3 Entertainment Spaces
1.3K Slot Machines
24/7 Always Open

Cash and Payment options

On the casino floor, cash is what you need. You won’t be able to pay for any type of gambling with digital payments.

There are ATM’s inside Vegas casinos, but these tend to have high withdrawal fees so are best avoided.

I always advise bringing along the money you intend to gamble with already in your pocket. If you leave with any of it, then that’s a good night!

Outside of the casino floor, card payments can be used for all other amenities and bills including paying for your room, drinks, food and attractions. 

You also receive your winnings in cash, which makes it quicker than even fast payout online casinos and, since you’re in Las Vegas, much more convenient too. 

💰 Circus Circus Casino Bonuses and Promotions

Circus Circus has the Circus Players Club rewards program. This offers guests the chance to receive benefits such as free slot play, event invites, dining credits, complimentary stays and priority check-in.

New Circus Players Club members can take advantage of a sign-up offer to earn some immediate perks when you join. 

To sign up, go along to the Circus Players Club Desk within the resort and complete the application form. You will need to be 21 years or over and have photographic ID with you.

Once you’ve joined you have 48 hours to earn as many points as you can to receive the following rewards:

  • 1,500 points – Free T-shirt
  • 2,500 points – Free Speciality Drink
  • 5,000 points – Free Buffet
  • 7,500 points – Two free nights at Circus Circus

You earn points by playing slots and table games, as long as you show or use your Circus Players card when you do. 

Circus Circus doesn’t make it clear on how much you need to wager in order to earn points, but you should be able to see your points total increasing as you play on slots. With table games it’s harder to keep track, but just make sure you hand your card to your dealer when you play. 

At most other Las Vegas casinos, you can also earn points by spending at restaurants, bars and attractions within the resort. I couldn’t get clarification on this from Circus Circus, but it’s worth asking. 

Even after the initial sign-up offer has expired, keep using your card whenever you gamble at Circus Circus. The more points you build up, the more rewards you will receive. 

🛏️ Circus Circus Las Vegas Hotel and Resort

If, like me, you’re a fan of Vegas neon, then Circus Circus has some of the very best. For a start, the ‘Lucky’ clown marquee sign is iconic, especially when lit up on an evening. 

The actual casino entrance is the most spectacular though. The curved roof with the golden ‘Circus Circus’ lettering, in front of the sparkling red and white striped Big Top behind it, just looks incredible, even to this day.

Unfortunately, this branding and character doesn’t really translate in the hotel towers. Although the Circus Circus lettering is on there, the design is rather bland, with big white blocks that just look like any other budget hotel. 

They do look slightly better at night when the lettering is lit up, but during the day, they look at little drab. 

After the first tower was built in 1972, an adjoining tower was added in 1975. These are collectively known as the Casino Tower. Three additional hotel areas were then added, and these are the Circus Skyrise Tower, the West Tower and the Circus Circus Manor Lodge, which has a motel look and feel.

Interestingly, Circus Circus also has the only RV site on the Strip, so if you want to stay in your RV, you can here.

Circus Circus has a reputation for providing a very low-budget option on the Las Vegas Strip, so I booked a room to see what it’s like staying here.

Circus Circus Rooms

There are around 3,760 rooms in total at Circus Circus spread out over four different towers.  

In terms of price, the Manor Lodge is the most budget-friendly with prices starting from just $25 a night (plus resort fees). This is followed by the Casino Tower, Skyrise Tower and West Tower according to the website.

However, I booked a room in the West Tower, and I have to say, if that is considered the best room on offer, then I wouldn’t be keen on staying in a lower standard room.

Getting to the room was a bit of a chore. The elevators were busy and I had to wait a good seven or eight minutes as groups of families/pushchairs crammed into each one.

Once I got off, I walked along a darkly-lit corridor with brown carpets, dark brown room doors and beige walls to find my room. It definitely had that low-budget feel about it. 

Entering the room, it was what I expected it to be. I’d booked a double queen, so space-wise, the room was actually fairly good. At 364 square feet, it was similar in size to my rooms at Mirage and New York New York. However, the design was much less impressive.

There wasn’t really any consistency in the design and décor. The walls were cream and yellow, the carpets beige/brown, the drapes were red-checked and the bed coverings were grey/blue. There were large dark wood head boards, dark wood desk and drawers, and black and orange small pieces of artwork on the walls. 

It felt like someone had just gathered together various items needed for a room and put them together without any thought to aesthetics. The bathroom had a similar feel, with various different surfaces and materials used without one clear look. 

There was some wear and tear visible in the room – wallpaper peeling off walls, some rust in the shower, plus marks and scratches on the furniture too. 

Ultimately, though, the room was clean, decent-sized, and had all the basic amenities including iron/ironing board, hairdryer, toiletries, a 32’ TV and a good-sized safe. There was also a fairly big two-panelled window which had a view of the Adventuredome (more on that later) and pool area.

Booking to stay at Circus Circus comes down to what’s more important to you. If you want a low-budget option on the Strip that is clean and functional then this would tick those boxes. If, however, you want a bit more comfort and luxury from your room, then this is not where you’ll find it.

If you want to bring your pet to Vegas, then Circus Circus has a floor dedicated to pet-friendly rooms. An additional fee of $25 per pet, per night is charged and you must follow the in-house rules which you’ll find on the website. This, again, is excellent value compared to other properties on the Strip.

Circus Circus Pool

Water lovers and adventure seekers will love the Circus Circus Splash Zone and Pool. One warning though: it’s not very relaxing!

Situated to the rear of the property, the water park area covers more than an acre of land and features two pools, whirlpools, a family-friendly splash pad, and three big water-slides. 

It’s basically its own water-park and because it is exclusively for Circus Circus hotel guests only, it does provide a very unique and attractive proposition to families on the Strip. 

I wasn’t brave enough to tackle the water slides, but I did enjoy watching people on the splashpad. This is a big hit with all ages and includes water cannons, rain trees, waterfalls, splash buckets and interactive water games. It provides hours of fun. 

If you want to try for a more relaxing experience, then the pool areas are a smidgen quieter but still lively. There are plenty of free day beds, or you can also hire a cabana for a little more privacy.

The Splash Snacks Food Truck is handy for pool-side food and drinks, serving family-friendly quick eats. There is no charge for the pool area, just make sure you pick up wrist-bands from reception when you check-in. 


A pool your children - and inner-children - will love

Pools in Las Vegas tend to be more about the vibe and chilling out, but Circus Circus have gone full-on waterpark. That really is a great addition for those looking for a family vacation in Vegas. 


A knock-on effect of this being more of a family friendly resort is the relative shortage of bar areas, compared to other Vegas casinos. The main ones are: 

  • Big Chill – frozen cocktails, draft and bottled beer 
  • West Bar – good atmosphere with a great Long Island Iced Tea
  • Sports Bar – casino bar with bar-top gaming and sports
  • Slots A Fun Bar – serving $2 Heineken in the retro gaming area

There’s also a lobby bar and a second Big Chill bar just beside the Adventuredome entrance.

West Bar has a twice-daily happy hour from 3pm to 6pm and from 3am to 6am. You can get a $5 Mimosa, $6 Bloody Mary or Jack Daniel’s Cocktail and $8 beer and house shot. 

Buffets and Restaurants

The big hit at Circus Circus is the Steakhouse which has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the best steak restaurants in Las Vegas. 

Serving the finest quality Midwestern beef, dry-aged to perfection, for over 30 years, the restaurant is steeped in Vegas history and a must-visit for many visitors. I’d recommend you book a table, as it gets very busy particularly on weekends. 

The Circus Circus buffet is open for brunch on Friday to Sunday only but is open daily for dinner. It is the cheapest buffet on the Strip, but you get what you pay for in terms of size and style.

I had a look in, the décor was very basic, with plain round tables and there were very limited serving areas. It was less than half the size of other buffets I’ve tried at Bellagio, Cosmopolitan or even MGM Grand. I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard the best reviews of the Circus Circus buffet, but I haven’t yet tried it myself.

Other Circus Circus eating options include Mexican cuisine at Blue Iguana, a dine-in or take-out Pizzeria and Big Top Eats which is open 24/7 serving sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, and desserts.

As you would expect from a budget resort, there are lots of cheap and quick eat options. The Food Court includes Burger King, Pick up Stix, Popeyes, and Einstein Bros Bagels. Elsewhere in the resort you will find Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Cocolini, Auntie Annes and various snacks stalls in the Midway arcade. There is also a McDonalds right outside next to Slots A Fun.

There’s no beating about the bush, Circus Circus is a budget resort. Offering basic rooms, low-quality décor and lots of snacks and quick eats, it is clear who this resort is aimed at.

Shows and Entertainment 

Along with the Splash Pool area, there are two other big family-friendly attractions at Circus Circus. One is the Carnival Midway, and the other is Adventuredome.

The Carnival Midway is directly above the main casino floor accessible by fun circular walkways that look like slides. This area is basically like an old-school arcade, circus and carnival all in one.

In the centre, you’ll find the circus performance area that features clowns, trapeze acts, jugglers, unicycles, and acrobatics. Shows are completely free and run from 1.30pm to 8.30pm weekdays and until 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays every hour.

In 1974, the Guinness Book of World Records named Circus Circus the world's largest permanent circus – an accolade it still holds today.

Around the outside of the circus area, you’ll find over 200 classic and modern fairground games that you pay to play. In return you can win tickets or prizes such as big cuddly toys. Midway is open daily from 11am.

Walking around here, it definitely brought back the big kid in me. I felt like I was at a carnival and couldn’t stop myself playing a couple of the claw machines and the donkey derby to try to win a plush toy. No luck, unfortunately. 

The Adventuredome (told you we’d get to it) is a five-acre indoor theme park attached to Circus Circus that comes with an additional charge. Featuring roller coasters, adrenaline rides, miniature golf, a VR room, and family rides, it is a great attraction for the Strip.

Tickets cost $60 for the day for adults and $30 for children, but it all depends on your height.

An additional attraction - Spongebob’s crazy carnival ride – has just opened recently near the entrance of Adventuredome with one ride costing $12.98.

💭 My Circus Circus Verdict

There’s no beating about the bush, Circus Circus is a budget resort. Offering basic rooms, low-quality décor and lots of snacks and quick eats, it is clear who this resort is aimed at.

However, there are some big positives and some truly unique attractions. I love the Circus Circus Steakhouse. Its ambience and food are both magnificent. I also loved the pool and splashpad complex, the free circus shows, and the Slots A Fun area. 

Affordable casino tables are also a big plus in my books as is the good variety of slot games.

However, the casino area wasn’t anything special for me, and was a bit unclean if I’m honest. Meanwhile the room was easily the worst room I’ve stayed in in Las Vegas.

It’s clear that although the hotel might be cheap to stay in, it could get quite expensive with children in tow as both the Adventuredome and Midway require additional money to use.

All in all, you get what you pay for at Circus Circus. For some, it’s the perfect mix of Strip location with budget rooms. You must, though, be prepared for lots of children around the resort. 

For me, although I’ll happily go back to visit, I don’t see myself staying here again. Unless I pluck up the courage to take on the 50ft water slide, of course!

What I Liked and Didn't Like

Affordable table games
Slots A Fun retro area
Splash pool complex
Great steakhouse
Circus Acts
Circus Players Club rewards program
Great for families
Didn't like
Dull and dirty casino
Lack of bars
Casino spread out over different areas
Sub-standard rooms for Vegas

Licensing Authorities and Testing Agencies

Meet The Author

8 Years
Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
Writer Writer

Lynsey is a regular Las Vegas visitor and a keen slots and roulette player. As well as significant experience as a writer in the iGaming and gambling industries as an expert reviewer and journalist, Lynsey is one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube Channel and Podcast 'Begas Vaby’. When she is not in Las Vegas or wishing she was in Las Vegas, Lynsey can usually be found pursuing her other two main interests of sports and theatre.

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