Is Photography Allowed in Casinos?
Rex Turner has an excellent article over at his blog Vegas Rex regarding photography in casinos. His post follows an article published in the Las Vegas Review Journal (where he was also quoted) about the story of Bob Woolley. Woolley recently was detained by security guards at the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas after taking photographs in their casino.
From the Las Vegas Review Journal:
“Bob Woolley ducked into the Cannery Casino in North Las Vegas to grab a snapshot for the “guess the casino” feature on his poker blog.
He wound up in a back room with security guards who objected to Woolley shooting a decorative mural on the casino wall.
The experience left him shaken, wondering why something thousands of visitors and locals do every day in casinos earned him the unwanted escort by armed guards.
“I acknowledge their right as a private company to have stupid policies,” said Woolley, 47, of Las Vegas. “But that doesn’t give them the right to kidnap me.”
There’s a long history in Las Vegas of customers being detained by casinos, despite untold amounts of money casinos have spent on legal defense and settlements.
Woolley’s is an example of how running afoul of often vague or inconsistently enforced casino rules can quickly escalate from an exchange of words with security guards to an unwanted trip to a casino detention area.”
I have to say that even as I’ve taken hundreds of photographs in casinos personally I’ve always done it somewhat discretely because I’d always assumed that casinos didn’t allow photography in casinos at all. I’m not sure why I’ve assumed this other than a friend of mine was once told that he couldn’t take photographs in an Indian Reservation casino. The fact of the matter is though that I’ve never personally been asked not to take photographs in casinos in numerous trips to Vegas or on a recent trip to Reno.
One part of the Las Vegas Review article that I found especially encouraging was a comment made by Former Aladdin casino partner Bill Zender. “You think about bomb threats, robberies, an earthquake, fires. These are things you worry about,” Zender said. “I like people taking pictures of my casino so they can show their friends. It is free advertising.”
Zender’s attitude is a good one. Personally I’d be far more inclined to spend time (and my money) in a casino that had this kind of pro photography attitude. And Zender is right, photographs are free advertising for casinos.
A good article by the Las Vegas Review Journal and a good follow up blog post by Vegas Rex. It would appear that casinos are actually far more ok with photography than I personally thought. Maybe it’s time to bust out one of those new cheap $49 fares on Southwest and head out to Vegas for a little more shooting after all! I’ll just need to make sure I boycott the Cannery Casino on my next visit.
Thanks for the heads up William!