Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

March 22, 2009

Casino Photography - Punishable By Law?

Posted by Hunter

Casinos have discouraged photography inside for ages - it's nothing new. This is usually under the guise of protecting their customers privacy.

Recently though, some have reported casino security taking a much harder line and in one case, a photographer was even detained.

VegasRex has been beating the drum on this issue for some time - if I recall, he even had a run-in himself. Some of his commentary is here:

The RJ is now looking at the issue as well, contacting Rex, the detained customer and a few security officials:

As someone who has taken literally thousands of photos of these places, inside and out, I have strong feelings on this. Now, I understand a private business can prohibit photography - I've been asked not to take photos - but the idea that this is some kind of security threat and that it could even possibly be a real offense is ludicrous.


Read archived comments (5 so far)
March 22, 2009 9:46 PM Posted by Mark D

On opening night at the Palazzo a female security guard made me delete several photos off my camera.

March 22, 2009 11:49 PM Posted by Rog

I have taken lots of photos inside casinos, with permission (but mostly in Reno, though). Before doing so, I go to the main security desk on the casino floor and ask if it is alright if I take photos inside. I show them my camera and tell them I'm an amateur. They have always said 'yes, but no pictures of customers gambling', and some have added 'no pictures of table games. period.' Despite this, I have still been hassled while shooting, usually by cocktail staff of all people. Whenever asked, I always say I received permission from 'that guy over there', and it usually ends there. I've even set up a tripod once so I could get some pictures of a slot machine in a dark corner.

I'm am generally outrages at the abuse of photographers exercising their right to take pictures in public places, all in the name of 'security', but I also recognize that a casino is private property and you must ask permission as on any other private property.

March 22, 2009 11:53 PM Posted by steve_c

While I was staying at Encore in January, after taking nearly 100 photos in the span of 20 minutes, I was nicely asked to refrain from photography in the main gaming area (I was taking a photo in the central walkway leading from the LVB entry to the Eastside Bar). Guess I stood out, it being 4:30am on a Tuesday.

I had no problem any other time. My 400 photos of Encore are proof enough.

March 23, 2009 12:47 PM Posted by Oakey

Casinos could be concerned more about the principles some might assert in defending their right to photograph than in photographs actually being taken. Rog refers to "public places" in his post. A casino can feel like a public place, but we all know that casinos want to assert their right to exclude people from time to time (card counters, people with strollers, labor organizers.) When the law treats space as public space, the general public can assert their civil liberties. When the law treats casinos as private (though casinos grant the public the privilege to access), the casino has more rights. I think the casinos are mainly trying to assert that the First Amendment doesn't extend onto the property.

March 13, 2011 10:08 AM Posted by Security Guard Nick

Being a security guard and photography amateur myself, it's hard to judge here. I may be biased because of my job as a security guard, but casino's are private property, permission must be asked to take pictures, period. But on the other hand, casinos are amongst the most intriguing places to take pictures. The machinery, the people, the security officers, it's all far too interesting to not capture it...