A Guide To Photography in Las Vegas Casinos

by Mark Sharron

Much like urban exploring Las Vegas Casinos present rich vista of stunning visual opportunities. WARNING: be prepared to be escorted off the casinos premises or barred by unfriendly security personal as Nevada gambling establishments take a dim view of budding photographers.

Is it legal to take photos in a casino’s gaming area?

All casinos have a no photography policy for the gaming area; so you need to go into this knowing you’re going to be breaking the rules.  However, it is not illegal, contrary to what casino staff will sometimes say so don’t worry about it from that perspective; the worst thing that can happen is they ask you to stop, to leave and/or to see and delete the photo(s) you just took.

Note that I said “ask”, not “require,” because they have no legal right to take your camera, inspect your camera or ask/make you delete any photos.  Keep in mind that most of the time you’ll only get hassled if the cashier cage is in the direction your lens is pointing; so avoid that and you’ll typically avoid trouble.

Do not ask if you can take pictures; just do it!  Since you already know it’s not allowed, no reason to ask; if you ask, they’ll often tell you no and it’s a lot less likely to cause problems if you just do it versus being told no and then doing it anyway.

Some of the most exciting moments captured on camera are when we win prizes and big money, so you’d imagine that pictures on a casino floor would be brimming with personality. Unfortunately, most bricks and mortar casinos take a dim view of photography on the casino floor.

On the strip In Las Vegas, for example, it is not technically illegal or against the rules to do so, but you will find that many pit bosses will be very quick to tell you to put away cameras and any other photography equipment if they see that you’re getting snap-happy in the gaming areas.

So how do you get around this? It’s important to note that in Vegas, they can’t physically confiscate your camera, nor are they legally allowed to demand that they check the pictures you’ve already taken on your phone of the gaming areas. Put simply, with a little subtlety and planning you should be able to get away with it by adhering to the following tips:

Top tips for taking photos in Vegas casinos

  • Use the smallest, most discrete camera equipment possible
    It goes without saying that if you head straight into a casino with your biggest camera lens and equipment draped over you, you’re likely to arouse suspicion from the moment you walk through the casino entrance. Take your smallest camera possible in order to keep a low profile.
  • Snap stills but don’t push your luck with video!
    Photo stills tend to be less of an issue with casino pit bosses than lengthy videos – probably because a video showcases more of the casino and its gaming action than a single still could possibly manage. However, it’s frowned upon to even take photo stills of your casino winnings.
  • Get rid of the flash
    Another sure-fire way to be detected taking pics in a casino is to use a booming flash. Most casinos have light enough anyway for a good shot, so switch off the flash from the first snap and you’ll be good to go.
  • Stay on the move at all times
    You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to discretely take some photos of the casino action, providing you move around the pit floor briskly. Linger too long and spend too much time photographing a particular area and you’re likely to be caught on the casino CCTV and accosted by the pit staff.
  • Don’t arouse suspicion by snapping other players and guests
    Worse still than lingering, you’ll drag too much attention to yourself if you opt to take pictures with other players and guests at the casino. Don’t try and involve table dealers etc as this won’t go down well with the pit bosses who want the games to run smoothly!

Of course, if you’re not close enough to a land-based casino to take some decent shots of the action, you can always get a friend to head online to play that type of game at home or on mobile, so you can take some snaps of their reactions mid-game! There’s a list from here that you can use to find a casino that accepts Canada-based casino players as well as those based in the UK and Europe.

Most of the sites offer free bonus money upon sign-up so your friend can find a site that allows them some free game time whilst allowing you to take snaps of today’s state-of-the-art 3D slot games developed by pioneering iGaming developers such as Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt.

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