The most prominent element of the New Vegas skyline, the Lucky 38 is a pre-War relic and an enduring monument to Mr. House's vision of Las Vegas: luxury without decadence, refinement without elitism, class without snobbery.
As part of the establishment's pre-War history, a mob shootout took place in the nearby Ultra-Luxe casino on July 13, 2072 and one of the alleged perpetrators holed up in the Lucky 38 with the money stolen from a recent heist. The individual was able to escape the room at the Lucky 38 through a window.
Aside from the varied and colorful past of the establishment, many other developments were occurring in the years leading up to the war. Robert House thoroughly modified the building in preparation for the upcoming apocalypse. Accurate long-range laser cannons linked to massive processing centers were installed on top of the tower to defend against nuclear warheads. A massive underground storage facility for Securitrons was built into the foundation. But the greatest marvel was the reason behind Mr. House's withdrawal from society: a preservation chamber built into the core of the penthouse floor, where the potentate sacrificed his mortal shell in return for immortality. Wired into the Lucky 38's mainframe and power core, House was ready to face the coming apocalypse, save for one last item: an OS upgrade for the Lucky 38 contained on the platinum chip.
Due to the unfortunate timing of the Great War, the chip never arrived. Forced to work with an inferior OS, Mr. House nevertheless managed to destroy a majority of the warheads aimed at the Mojave, but eventually suffered a critical system crash and was forced into a coma. The Lucky 38 fell silent and for nearly two centuries, lay dormant amidst the Vegas ruins. Only the odd Securitron, controlled by Mr. House after he awoke in 2138, left the premises to survey the wasteland and bring news of the developments.
The tower came to life in 2274, as Securitron agents detected NCR scouts at Hoover Dam. An army of Securitrons poured out of the Lucky 38, quickly destroying hostile tribals on the Strip and securing the location. Mr. House struck a deal with the three largest tribes, providing them with clothes, tools, and supplies from stockpiles in the Lucky 38 in return for renovating the city and preparing for the arrival of the NCR. The Lucky 38 once again became a symbol of Vegas, as the domain of its mysterious leader. As of 2281, the Lucky 38 remains closed to the public.
Directly inside the front door is the main casino floor, fit with gambling tables and slot machines that cannot be played. The cashier's room is to the left. Above the cashier's room is a VIP lounge, where a terminal used in the quest The Moon Comes Over the Tower can be found. In the center of the main floor is the elevator. Victor must be spoken to in order to use the elevator so long as House is alive, but otherwise, the player character can operate the elevator independently.
The cocktail lounge is near the top of the Lucky 38, beneath the penthouse. Companions are not allowed inside. The room is filled with empty tables, cash registers with small amounts of pre-War money, unplayable slot machines, and other assorted miscellaneous items. There is an Average locked safe with some decent loot inside, and a Hard locked briefcase containing C-4 plastic explosive, a detonator, and a silenced .22 pistol with some ammunition. The Test Site snow globe can also be found here, tucked behind one of the cash registers.
The penthouse is on the highest level of the Lucky 38. Companions are not allowed inside, similar to the cocktail lounge. Mr. House's control center is located here, down the stairs and to the left of the elevator. Jane is found directly in front of the elevator, and can exchange snowglobes for caps. To the right is a bedroom. The shelves are stocked with numerous pre-War books.
Unlike the cocktail lounge, there is a wall that prevents circling the entire room. This conceals the elevator to the control room. A terminal to open it is to the left of House's control center, which requires either a Science skill of 75, the platinum chip, or the Lucky 38 VIP keycard to operate. Inside are two Securitrons. Using the terminal opens a hidden door, causing the Securitrons guarding the room to turn hostile. However, upon exiting the room and taking the elevator either downstairs or upstairs, the Securitrons will revert to non-hostile status.
The presidential suite is made available immediately after the Courier's first interaction with Mr. House. The suite is fairly spacious and consists of five rooms, including a master bedroom (which contains an owned bed), the guest bedroom (the two beds here are not owned), the kitchen and dining room, the study, and the bathroom (which has clean water). The refrigerator contains some food, and various drinks are present throughout the area. All of the storage within is safe. Through a terminal to the left of the master bedroom, additional storage can be purchased, as well as a workbench.
All companions can be dismissed to the presidential suite in lieu of their original homes. Idle companions will wander around, talk to each other, and occasionally sit in the chairs or sleep. Companions will utilize anything stored in containers or present in the rooms so long as items aren't considered stolen or if the Courier is present in the suite at the time.
- Golden Gloves - In the casino's VIP section, near the access point terminal.
- Test Site snow globe - In the cocktail lounge, behind one of the three cash registers.
- Hard locked briefcase containing ¡La Fantoma! and C-4 plastic explosive - In the cocktail lounge. From elevator entrance, third table, and couch set-up to the right.
- Jake Juice – On a table in the presidential suite.
- A large amount of alcohol, as well as one of the greatest sources of absinthe in the game (next to the Atomic Wrangler) - On the center shelves of the cocktail lounge.
- 40 bundles of pre-War money - Found throughout the casino.
- Victor explains that companions are not allowed to visit the penthouse. This holds true even if Mr. House is killed or incapacitated. This also applies to the cocktail lounge. The companions will remain wherever the player character left them (usually the casino level or the presidential suite) in "wait" mode. The player character must return to them and request that they follow using the companion wheel before they will follow again.
- The poster of the Lucky 38 in 2025 shown in the game's opening sequence is not present in-game.
- Most of the items in the casino can be taken without Karma loss.
- The design of the Lucky 38 makes it impossible for the second elevator to Mr. House to exist.
- The whole casino can be used as player housing as all storage containers on all levels are safe.
- When the doors of the Lucky 38 are shot at, it makes the same noise as when shooting glass.
- Upon leaving the Lucky 38 for the first time, all non-player characters in the Strip will gather around, watching the Courier exit, and will comment on how they were the first to be seen coming out from it. This also results in increased fame on the Strip.
- The Lucky 38 sign has been defaced. The second "V" in "revolving" appears to be crossed out and replaced with a "T," so it says "revolting" cocktail lounge instead of "revolving" cocktail lounge.
- The basement is only accessible when Mr. House or Yes Man demonstrates the Securitron upgrades.
- In the presidential suite, there is a pool table with 5 pool balls in the shape of an arrow. The ball numbers add up to 38, and the arrow points to a Lucky 38 poster.
- If the Securitrons are killed, Mr. House's screen will say "connection lost."
- The Lucky 38 is the tallest structure in the Mojave Wasteland and can be seen from long distances.
- The Lucky 38 entrance door is different within the interior.
- The interior of the Lucky 38 is the only casino that does not play background music. Instead, it only has ambient music.
Behind the scenes
- The Lucky 38 is similar in appearance to the real world Stratosphere Las Vegas and former Landmark Hotel and Casino. The Landmark was owned for some time by Howard Hughes who had a history of psychological traits that resemble those of Mr House, and lived in a (different) Las Vegas casino for some time.
- The name "Lucky 38" is a reference to the 38 numbers on a roulette table. The sign looks like a stylized roulette wheel and pre-War billboards for the Lucky 38 have the slogan "Take her for a spin!"
- James Garcia created the 3D model of the Lucky 38 neon sign.
- Speaking with Victor does not bring up a dialogue prompt. Bringing a companion into the casino and dismissing them fixes the issue.[verified]
- Upon exiting the Lucky 38, the game freezes or crashes and the autosave file becomes corrupted. This may be worked around by using the movetoqt command to bypass using the casino door and teleport to the target of the quest marker.[verified]
- At the Lucky 38, the automatic doors before the real doors will not open, barring entrance. Speaking with Victor does not solve the issue.[verified]
- The casino and presidential suite may appear very dark when screen effects are set to "none" or "bloom". Choosing HDR fixes this.[verified]
- complimentary voucher bug to climb the front of the Lucky 38 above the entrance, it is possible to go under the casino and a computer will be present, named "Tops Radio," with only introductory and leaving dialogue.[verified] If the player character uses the
- The Courier: "What is this place?"
Jane: "This is the Lucky 38 Resort and Casino - or, it used to be. Mr. House has kept the place locked up tight for ages now, nobody comes in or out."
- Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "Mr. House's Lucky 38 casino towers over the New Vegas Strip, mysterious and impenetrable to visitors and locals alike."
- Shanghai Sally: Chapter Closed
- The Courier: "What preparations did you make to save Las Vegas?"
Mr. House: "On the day of the Great War, 77 atomic warheads targeted Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. My networked mainframes were able to predict and force-transmit disarm code subsets to 59 warheads, neutralizing them before impact. Laser cannons mounted on the roof of the Lucky 38 destroyed another 9 warheads. The rest got through, though none hit the city itself. A sub-optimal performance, admittedly. If only the Platinum Chip had arrived a day sooner..."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- Mr. House: " The Securitrons policing the Strip are a fraction of the total number manufactured. The rest, I stored here."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "You appear to be a computer, not a man."
Mr. House: "Don't let the video screens and computer terminals fool you. I'm flesh and blood, not silicon."
The Courier: "The lifespan you're claiming is impossible, except for ghouls and super mutants."
Mr. House: "[SUCCEEDED] I see you've made a study of the topic. My knowledge of the science of longevity would fill several text books... Perhaps, after a decade or two of economic reconstruction, I can commercialize these technologies and offer to others, such as yourself."
The Courier: "How have you stayed alive all this time?"
Mr. House: "Let's just say it was very... . But I was willing to make the sacrifices longevity entailed, financial and otherwise."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How did you nearly die, defending Vegas?"
Mr. House: "Software glitches set off a cascade of system crashes. I had to take the Lucky 38's reactor offline, lest it melt down. For nearly five years I battled power outages and more system crashes until I finally managed to reboot my data core with an older version of the OS. I spent the next few decades in a veritable coma. But I survived, obviously - and eventually thrived."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- The Courier: " "
Mr. House: "We can discuss this in greater detail at another time. Suffice it to say that when my Securitrons detected NCR scouts at Hoover Dam, I took action. I recruited a tribal force to supplement my Securitrons and renovated the Strip just in time to welcome the NCR as it marched into the region."
(Mr. House's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "Mr. House is the mysterious overlord of the Strip. He controls his small empire from the confines of the Lucky 38 casino, where no other living person has set foot for over two hundred years."
- James Garcia's portfolio