Throughout the years, it’s been prohibited for gamers at almost all Las Vegas casinos, including in venues with online casinos, to take photos inside the casino. The first thing that customers would see when they entered a casino was a sign posted that noted that taking pictures was not allowed in the casino.
The prohibition against taking pictures seems to have started at gambling sites both inside and outside of Nevada, where casinos operated underground and were run by mobsters who didn’t want their faces immortalized for the benefit of law enforcement officials.
Until recently this was the policy at almost all casinos. Casinos were sensitive about photography especially video. Today the policy seems to have loosened up a bit. The proliferation of cell phone cameras makes it hard for the casinos to enforce the no-photography policy, though some still try.
But in general, most casinos are tolerant of casual snapshots and selfies. Not only do guests expect to be able to take pictures at any time and in any situation but it’s also good publicity for the casino to have people posting pictures of themselves on social media as they enjoy a casino vacation.
If you want to take pictures in a casino, check the policy before you enter. Caesars Palace, for instance, has a history of being adverse to having people take pictures on the gaming floor. Boyd casinos (Gold Coast, California, Fremont, Sam’s Town, etc) allow you to take pictures on the gaming floor but not of the games or of other patrons. Four Queens allows pictures but no video. Review the parameters of allowable picture-taking before you enter the casino and you’ll be OK.
Mobsters don’t run Vegas casinos any more but the casinos still don’t encourage picture-taking. Why?
For one thing, they want to protect their customers. Many customers expect to count on anonymity while they’re gambling – perhaps they want to keep their casino activities secret from family, friends, business acquaintances or even law enforcement.
If customers have to worry that an inadvertent photo of them playing may show up where it can be seen by people that they don’t want to know about their gambling habits, they may not come to the casino at all. By prohibiting photos, casinos promise their patrons a higher level of personal security than they would have otherwise.
Security is another issue. Criminals who are planning a heist or some other illicit activity would benefit from seeing photos of the casino floor, of dealers at work and other casino images. The fewer photos that exist of the casino space the less likely it is that a criminal will be able to accurately plan an illegal act.
If you enjoy taking pictures of your activities, your vacations and your friends and family enjoying themselves relaxing, you can usually get away with taking some pictures at a casino, though not of the dealers or of other players.
Some tips for photo-taking in a casino:
Don’t take a video. Whereas most casinos will allow you to get away with simple selfies or pictures of your restaurant meal, they won’t allow a video. Even the casinos that don’t officially allow photographs on the casino floor will let you get away with some basic photos. But they will clamp down if they catch you videoing the gaming area.
Turn off your flash. It doesn’t only alert security but it tells other customers that pictures are being taken in the area – and they’re likely to report that. Put an override on the automatic flash – the pictures will come out well if you hold the camera still to avoid motion blur, but you’ll get better at it with practice. Try resting your camera on something to keep it steady, or tuck your elbow in and use your arm like a tripod.
Same advice for a tripod – just don’t. Not only does a tripod alert everyone to the fact that you’re taking pictures but it can cause other patrons to fall (especially drunk guests, of which, you can assume, there are many).
No Big Cameras
There’s no need for a big, professional-looking camera today, thanks to the high quality cameras that are a part of almost every smartphone. If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, keep your equipment as small as possible to avoid being noticed. Also, casino security is on the lookout for anything that they believe might be professional photography equipment so stick to your cell phone camera or some other small device.
No Guest Photos
Many casino guests don’t want to be photographed and the casinos want to keep their guests happy so……don’t put yourself in a position in which another guest reports you. Casinos take their customer privacy seriously so if you want to avoid trouble, respect that boundary.
Don’t shoot the cage. The security is the highest in the area around the money and if you take a picture there you’ll attract the wrong kind of attention, quickly. If you want to stay on the right side of casino security, keep your camera away from the cage.
Work quickly and keep moving. That will give you the best chance to stay discreet and avoid drawing the attention of the security personnel. Don’t stand in one spot for long, even if you want to get multiple shots of the same scene. Circle around and come back or, better yet, plan out your shot before you click and then move on.
There’s no point to getting confrontational with casino security so – don’t. The security people don’t have the legal right to take your camera/phone nor can they delete pictures from your device but they can make your life miserable. If you’re nice you can maintain a good relationship with the casino staff and keep your pictures.