Las Venturas is the second largest city in area and least populous in the State of San Andreas and the third and final fictional city the player meets in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is based on Las Vegas, Nevada, and like its real-life counterpart, Las Venturas is a gambling city located in a desert region, with casinos such as The Camel's Toe and Caligula's Palace. Las Venturas becomes accessible without police attention following Yay Ka-Boom-Boom. Everything that can be bought in Las Venturas, except the Pay 'n' Spray service, is 20% more expensive than in Los Santos or San Fierro. Las Venturas is Spanish for "The Fortunes", whilst Las Vegas translates to "The Meadows" or "The Grasslands".
Las Venturas is home to the famous baseball team, the Las Venturas Bandits, and Greenglass College. The city is also home to Mafia families. Initially, there were three families: the Leone Family, the Forelli Family and the Sindacco Family.
After buying an abandoned desert airstrip under orders from Mike Toreno. Once Carl learns to fly as part of Toreno's plans he recieves a phone call from the blind Triad leader Wu Zi Mu, whom Carl worked with in San Fierro. Wu Zi Mu has opened a casino called "The Four Dragons Casino" in Las Venturas, and he offers Carl part ownership in exchange for defending it, since Las Venturas is a Mafia-controlled town.
After stopping the sabotage efforts of the Forelli Family and Sindacco Family, who have part ownership of Caligula's Palace, with the Leone Family, Carl and Wu Zi Mu plan to strike back by pulling off a heist on Caligula's. Carl eventually meets Kent Paul and Maccer, a member of the Gurning Chimps. Paul knows Ken Rosenberg, who is currently the manager of Caligula's.
After helping Rosenberg out with his problems, Salvatore Leone himself arrives from Liberty City to take total control of Caligula's. Carl capitalizes on his relationship with Rosenberg to earn Salvatore's trust, and after performing numerous hits for him, is ready to begin the heist. When the heist team successfully robs Caligula's, Salvatore swears revenge against Carl.
In a different tempo, Carl also does a task once again for C.R.A.S.H., which is to retrieve a dossier for Frank Tenpenny. After some time, C.R.A.S.H. and Carl meet up in Las Brujas, near El Castillo del Diablo in Bone County, to give Tenpenny the dossier. In this event, Tenpenny knocks out fellow C.R.A.S.H. member Jimmy Hernandez with a shovel, since he was going to turn in evidence against Tenpenny. Later on, Eddie Pulaski also gets killed, but this time by Carl.
Soon after this, CJ saves the life of disgraced rapper Madd Dogg from commiting suicide. and becomes his new manager. However, Madd Dogg wants to return to Los Santos to reclaim his mansion from a drug dealer named Big Poppa. The story then leaves Las Venturas.
Wu Zi Mu (in person) and Julio G (on the radio), among others, talk about how corporations are moving in on the Las Venturas gaming industry and pushing out mobsters. This refers to the real-life trend in Las Vegas, also in the very early 1990s ("corporations" being Steve Wynn and Circus Circus Enterprises).
Most Las Venturas casinos are modeled after real-life locations in Las Vegas. Curiously, counterparts to some noteworthy Las Vegas casinos which existed in 1992 (when the game takes place), but were later demolished, do not appear in Las Venturas - these include the Dunes Hotel, the Desert Inn Hotel and the Sands Hotel. Also, the Luxor Hotel (opened 1993), Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (opened 1995) and Treasure Island Hotel and Casino (opened 1993) had yet to be built.
Three casinos, namely The Four Dragons Casino, Caligula's Palace, and Casino Floor, can be entered by Carl Johnson. Inside you will find dealers and casino games along with many pedestrians. These pedestrians will be found ordering drinks, playing the table games (except Wheel of Fortune), standing in front of the slot machines, and making comments regarding the drinks they are ordering, about the table games they play, and about Carl Johnson's appearance. Casinos along The Strip include (real-life counterparts in Las Vegas):
- The Four Dragons Casino (Imperial Palace)
- The Pink Swan (Flamingo)
- The High Roller (Bally's)
- Pirates In Men's Pants (Treasure Island)
- The Visage (The Mirage)
- The Emerald Isle (Fitzgeralds)
- The Starfish Casino (Bill's Gamblin Hall and Saloon)
- The Clown's Pocket (Circus Circus)
- Caligula's Palace (Caesars Palace)
- Royale Casino (Casino Royale)
- The Camel's Toe (Luxor)
- Come-A-Lot (Excalibur)
- The V-Rock Hotel (Hard Rock)
The casinos in the Old Venturas Strip district have no names, but are modeled after the largest casinos in downtown Las Vegas: Binion's Horseshoe, Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Fremont Hotel and Casino, and The Four Queens Hotel and Casino.
In terms of crime, Las Venturas is unique compared to Los Santos and San Fierro. Firstly, Las Venturas is not plagued or controlled by any street gangs. Because of this, crime rate and gang violence is on a much lower rate compared to the other cities in San Andreas. Further, the rate of drugs-trafficking is substantionally lower compared to the other cities and almost non-existant; likewise, crack dealers do not exist in Las Venturas. However, major criminal organizations have influence in Las Venturas; and contribute to the majority of the crime and illegal activities; including murder, corruption, contract killing/assassination and protection/extortion. These organizations include the Triads and three different Italian Mafia families; including the Leone Family, Forelli Family and the Sindacco Family. The main business ventures and influence that these criminal organizations hold in Las Venturas is the gambling industry and associated big-time casinos. This includes Caligula's Palace (Italian Mafia) and the Four Dragons Casino (Triads).
The Triads and the Mafia entered a brief, but violent war during 1992 for control of the gambling industry. The three mafia families in Las Venturas - the Sindaccos, Forelli's and the Leone's were also on rocky terms since they both had a stake at Caligula's Casino, each wanting to muscle each other out for full control of the casino.
Las Venturas has a large freeway system circling and splitting the city into two. The Julius Thruway is the freeway system circling the city, and is split into four parts; Julius Thruway North, Julius Thruway South, Julius Thruway East and Julius Thruway West. Julius Thruway North leads to an intersection, before splitting into many paths crossing the desert. Julius Thruway South continues to the west from the Blackfield Intersection to become a major highway in the south of Bone County, continuing to the Garver Bridge, and to Tierra Robada and the Gant Bridge. Thus Las Venturas has easy access to San Fierro and Los Santos. It services numerous areas in the city. The Harry Gold Parkway is another highway, splitting the whole city into a western half and an eastern half. It services mainly the airport, some few casinos and the central areas. It also leads to a highway leading to the south, crossing The Mako Span to reach the Montgomery Intersection and becomes the major freeway through Downtown Los Santos, and its most southern point is Los Santos International Airport.
The Brown Streak Railroad services Las Venturas, with its two stations (Linden Station and Yellow Bell Station) being located in the northern and eastern part of the city. The Sobell Rail Yards are also in the east of the city, though it is not considered a stop for Brown Streak and Freight trains.
Las Venturas Airport is an airport on the south-central part of the city, with two runways and a number of planes. It is serviced by Juank Air, and tickets to Los Santos and San Fierro may be purchased.
Las Venturas has references to famous landmarks including:
- Las Vegas Welcome Sign (Las Venturas Welcome Sign)
- Bonanza Gift Shop (The Strip)
- Vegas Vic and Sassy Sally (Old Venturas Strip, portrayed by Avery Carrington and Candy Suxxx)
- Chapel of the Flowers
- Graceland Wedding Chapel
- La Concha
- Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino (The Strip)
- UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center (Blackfield Stadium)
- Las Vegas Outlet Center (Creek)
- St. Joan of Ark Church (Blackfield Chapel)
- Sun City Aliante (Prickle Pine)
- Lloyd D. George Federal District (Roca Escalante)
- College of Southern Nevada (Greenglass College)
- McCarran International Airport (Las Venturas Airport)
- Hunter Quarry(Hunter Quarry)
- US95 (Pilson Intersection)
- Interstate 15 (Julius Thruway)
- Showcase Mall (a mall near Come-A-Lot and The Camel's Toe features large, 3D billboards similar to a real mall in Las Vegas with 3D Coca-Cola, M&Ms and margarita billboards)
- Cashman Field (Las Venturas Bandits Stadium)
- Linden Side
- LVA Freight Depot
- Old Venturas Strip
- Pilgrim (Chinatown Plaza)
- Prickle Pine (Spring Valley)
Other Notable Places
- Blackfield Chapel
- Blackfield Stadium (Thomas & Mack Center)
- Greenglass College (University of Nevada Las Vegas)
- K.A.C.C. Military Fuels
- Las Venturas Airport
- Las Venturas Bandits Stadium
- Last Dime Motel
- Linden Station
- Randolph Industrial Estate
- Yellow Bell Golf Course
- Yellow Bell Station
Major Roads and Intersections
- Blackfield Intersection
- Harry Gold Parkway
- Julius Thruway
- Pilson Intersection
- The Strip
- Old Venturas Strip
Las Venturas is home to the Las Venturas Bandits, who aren't based on any real life baseball team, as real world Las Vegas has never held a major league sports team, in any American pro sport. There is a minor league baseball team, the Las Vegas 51s, but it is likely that the Bandits are not meant to emulate the 51s. The Bandits play at the Las Venturas Bandits Stadium in the Redsands West district of Las Venturas.
Las Venturas contains two types of collectibles throughout the city. The first type of collectibles are oysters which can be found in several bodies of water throughout the state. The second type of collectibles are Horseshoes which are horseshoe shaped objects found exclusively within the cities boundaries similar to the snapshots in San Fierro and the spray tags in Los Santos. Horsehoes increase the player's gambling luck by increasing the odds of winning. Upon collecting every horseshoe the player will recieve an M4, SPAS-12, MP5, and Satchel Charges at the Four Dragons Casino entrance.
- Las Venturas has the most Burger Shot and Cluckin' Bell locations of any city/town in all of Grand Theft Auto.
- Behind The Clown's Pocket Casino, a large pink dome is under construction. The pink Adventuredome behind the Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas was also under construction in 1992.
- Las Venturas is one of only two cities in the GTA III Era to be built on flat terrain (the other being Vice City, and the only one in the State of San Andreas.
- In GTA San Andreas, the printed map included with the game implies that The Clown's Pocket Casino was originally named the Ringmaster, which probably means the name was changed during game development.
- Las Venturas is the only city with no Street Gangs roaming the city. Though it has been implied that most of the city belongs to the Mafia.
- The Venturas Poker Challenge takes place in Las Venturas in the Venturas Dome, during the events of Grand Theft Auto IV in the GTA IV Era.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, there are a lot of references to Las Venturas (in television, radio, etc.), as it still exists within the GTA IV Era. However, as Las Venturas is a city and not a town or area, it is unknown if it still exists within a new era version of the fictional State of San Andreas, after all San Andreas is a single city in GTA 1.
- Despite following an alternate continuity, the GTA III Era rendition of the city (also currently the only rendition) appears in a cameo on the TV in GTA IV.
- In early screenshots Police Vehicles in Las Venturas were shown to have the letters "LG" emblozned on them, as apposed to the letters "LV" for Las Venturas. This suggests the at one point Las Venturas was named something else. It is unknown what the "LG" would have stood for.
- Unlike the other two major cities, Las Venturas has no area entitled "Downtown". As The Strip is the 'downtown' area of Las Venturas.
- Las Venturas is the only city in the GTA III Era where the Police Car and Taxi do not share the same chassis.
- Las Venturas is the least populous city in the GTA III Era with a population of 500,000.
- Like San Fierro, it is possible for players, without cheating, to enter Las Venturas before it is unlocked by simply swimming across the river from Red County (there are also locations where skillful bike riders can jump from Red County into Las Ventura). Once the player enters the city proper, however, a four-star wanted level is given (though the "Lock Wanted Stars" cheat code will prevent this and allow exploration). Unlike San Fierro, however, there are some small areas along the south side that can be entered safely, namely the dock areas where the player can pick up boats and armor; remain away from the staircases leading up into the city and no Wanted Level is given. It is also possible to safely circumnavigate Las Venturas by water before it's unlocked, though approaching the waterways around San Fierro will activate the Wanted Level penalty, as will approaching too close to the Las Venturas shoreline (or approaching the location of the oyster in the far northeast corner of the map).
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, after killing Paulie Sindacco, his tombstone in Liberty City cemetery will say Viva Las Venturas Baby.
- The official strategy guide for the game, published by BradyGames, lists several locations in Las Venturas where Adrenaline pick-ups are available, however in the game itself no such items exist.
- In some safehouses, there are guidebooks for different places, including Las Venturas.
- Las Venturas is the only city in the entire GTA III Era to not include skyscrapers.
- Strangely or curiously, Harrahs, Tropicana, Sahara, Riviera, New Frontier, Stardust existed in 1992, 2004, and 2005 but doesn't exist in Las Venturas. Both New Frontier and Stardust were imploded in 2007 and Sahara was in renovated to become SLS Las Vegas, as Sahara was closed in 2011, New Frontier closed in 2007, and Stardust closed in 2006.
- In TboGT, When Monique cheats on Vic Manzano with Luis Lopez, Vic was supposed to be in Las Venturas.