Last month’s story on the gambler who was illegally detained by a group of casino goons for taking pictures sparked the debate about whether or not photography is actually banned inside casinos.
On Sunday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal finally got around to covering the story and revealed what some of us already suspected:
“There are no rules against (photography), and there are no rules or regulations that govern it,” Randy Sayre, a member of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said of shooting photos in Nevada casinos.
It is not illegal to take photographs in casinos, nor are you required to show anyone your photos after you have taken them. You are also not required to have your bags checked at Best Buy or Fry’s when leaving the store. All of these “private property checks” are completely voluntary, and anyone who tells you to the contrary is just plain wrong.
Like any other citizen, security guards can only make “citizen’s arrests” if you have committed a crime. If you have not committed a crime, you are free to ignore anyone who tries to stop you, and you may effect any force necessary to ensure your freedom.
Furthermore, there is no company policy forbidding photography inside the Cannery, the North Las Vegas casino which detained Robert Woolley last month after he photographed a wall mural for his blog, Poker Grump.
However, the Cannery believes photographers are a security threat.
Cannery spokesman Tom Willer said that although there is no rule explicitly prohibiting photography in the casino, guards considered Woolley a security threat.
But the real security threats are casino security guards, according to the article.
Earlier this year a professional poker player was awarded $80,000 after a Nevada court ruled he was wrongfully detained by security guards at Tao nightclub in The Venetian.
The court ruled poker player Jim Morrison was wrongly detained after he became upset by repeated, overbearing tip solicitations by club bouncers.
In another case from the late 1980s two California gamblers were awarded $675,000 from the former Binion’s Horseshoe on Fremont Street. Press clippings from the time say the men were accused of card counting, and beaten and robbed by security workers. Card counting is legal in Nevada, but casinos can take countermeasures against skilled players.
Considering that Woolley was trying to leave the casino when he was escorted into the backroom where he was detained for 90 minutes, it look likes his winning numbers are coming up.
I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed.