These signs, showing a camera with a red bar, were not put up in casinos by police. Taking a photo in a casino isn’t an activity that requires you to face a judge, and I’ve never been against it. The law. It is simply a self-imposed policy that casinos try to prevent you from violating. Similar but frowned upon legal guidelines include counting cards at blackjack, wearing a shirt, or being excessively drunk.
Unlike the other myths this series has explored, casinos perpetuate this myth. They want guests to be reluctant to take photos to protect the privacy of their other guests. Not everyone visits a casino wanting everyone else in their life. Knows. That guest who was accidentally caught rolling dice in the background of your Instagram post could be an officer or an undercover cop. And the woman playing next to him could be his mistress or a prostitute.
As for your smartphone camera, casinos prefer that you keep it in your pants.
According to former Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter A. Hopkins, this myth dates back to the early days of Las Vegas, when people didn’t want the people back home to see them in an environment that was associated with I’ve often been told we can’t take pictures in a casino because it’s illegal,” said Hopkins, who began covering Las Vegas casinos in the 1970s. “Then I have a story about (the future owner of South Point) Mike Gaughan. He said: ‘That’s nonsense!
“Not only did he allow me to take a picture of him in his casino, but he also insisted that I do it. He assumed some security chiefs had decided that it was easier to dishonestly tell newspaper photographers that it was illegal than to make sure they have the consent of everyone in the photo.
The standard no-picture casino policy continues in a changing world. Almost every casino visitor now has a high-resolution camera in their pocket. People of nearly all ages are now used to commemorating every emotion in their lives with live posts on social media. These posts have become an undeniably valuable promotional resource for casinos. People want to capture their experiences to share with others,” said Scott Roeben of Casino.org, blogger for Vital Vegas.
Rigid rules drive customers away and create unnecessary tension between guests and employees. Casinos are already facing serious challenges as younger players aren’t keen on spending money to sit down and press a button on a slot machine. They create another barrier with outdated and obtrusive guidelines surrounding photography. Incidentally, no one has been more confronted with casino photography in modern-day Las Vegas than Roeben. (Your best guess is “dozens of times”. He was kicked out of Palace Station for photographing a game of bingo and out of the Sahara just for carrying a digital camera. He was even locked in the back room, casino-style, once for photographing a restaurant sign at Jerry’s. Lump. “I’ve also been ordered to remove photos multiple times,” Roeben said. “I often remind visitors that they can follow a different policy. Nobody can force you to delete photos or videos.
You may no longer be welcome at the casino, but it’s your choice to comply.
The Bigger Picture
Since there is nothing casinos can do to stop selfie-taking, most are slowly relaxing or seriously rewriting their photo bans. Photo tolerance varies by casino. For example, Caesars Palace and the Sahara have always been the less forgiving end of the spectrum. On the other hand, the Strat actively encourages selfies and places their social media hashtags on their baccarat, blackjack, and craps tables. The Four Queens and Rampart casinos also invite you to take selfies.
In the middle are casinos like Park MGM, which provide dedicated selfie areas on the floor away from live tables and slots. Most casinos are trying to implement a nuanced policy that takes into account the type of photos that are taken before asking guests to abstain. Some classes are allowed more than others. You’ll often see a “No Photography” sign, but it’s primarily there to justify action against the less-permitted species.