It's not a Vegas illusion: The Mirage, one of the most iconic landmarks in Las Vegas, is all set to close its doors for the final time. But everyone already knows this - what most people don't know is that the Mirage is giving away an awesome $1.6 million in prize money, starting with progressive jackpot prizes. And you might be surprised at the reason why.

Starting this Tuesday afternoon, the 9th of July, The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip will begin distributing nearly $1.6 million in guaranteed prizes. This giveaway is not an act of goodwill - but rather, a regulatory requirement for casino establishments in Sin City. In Nevada, most of the casinos that close are often mandated to return their progressive jackpot earnings to the gamblers who contributed to it by losing it in the first place.

Six memorable days filled with loads of prizes - a last hurrah

The Mirage's six-day event, aptly named 'The Mirage Progressive Final Cash Giveaway,' will run from 3 pm to 7 pm daily, all the way to Saturday, the 13th of July, and resume for a final day of prize giveaways on July 16. Of the $1.6 million in total, around $1.2 million will come from progressive slot machines. The Mirage casino will pay out $200,000 every day on July 9 to 11, followed by $250,000 on the 12th and 13th of July and finally, $100,000 on July 16.

The remaining $400,000 will be awarded from progressive table games. These massive prizes will be distributed through drawings to be held in the evenings, starting at 8 pm on the 12th and 13th of July, respectively. In order to qualify for these drawings, players need to participate in any qualifying table game - such as Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, Face-Up Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, baccarat, or blackjack - using a 'Unity by Hard Rock' rewards card between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm on the specified days.

It's not the first of its kind

If you think this is the first time this kind of promotion was held, think again. This event is not unprecedented. As a matter of fact, The Riviera held a similar promotion before closing down in May of 2015. However, not all casinos are subject to this rule. For instance, the Tropicana was not required to return its remaining jackpots when it closed in April, as regulations by the Nevada Gaming Control Board or the NGCB can vary depending on the circumstances of ownership of every casino within its jurisdiction.

The Mirage, which first opened its doors on November 22, 1989, will cease operations on the 17th of July, 2024, and will go through a three-year renovation and transformation into the second Hard Rock in Las Vegas, as the first Hard Rock in Las Vegas was reopened in 2021 as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

After The Mirage closes, anyone looking to cash in their casino chips at the Mirage will have 120 days to do it. Chips can effectively be redeemed at Treasure Island after the 17th of July, and additionally, players can mail in their slot vouchers for redemption as well.

This promotion and distribution of funds marks the end of an era for The Mirage, a landmark casino that has been a staple of the Las Vegas Strip for over three decades - but its much-awaited transformation into Hard Rock Las Vegas promises to bring a new chapter to Sin City's ever-vibrant casino scene.