SECURITY IN LAS VEGAS
If you're reading this guide, chances are, you're planning your trip to Las Vegas and trying to get the lay of the land. You've gathered the travel group together, booked your hotels, made your reservations, and now it's time to pack your bags.
But what do you pack? What can and can't you bring into the Vegas hotels? What should you be bringing?
In the short guide below, we will be touching on all you need to know about the do's and don’ts to avoid having to deal with security in Las Vegas!
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What is the Legal Drinking Age In Las Vegas?
First things first: you should know that the legal age to drink and gamble in the United States is 21+ – and because the Strip is mostly a string of casinos, you have to be at least 21 to loiter inside the non-resort parts (pool/spa areas, food court, etc.) of the hotels.
Underage visitors are not permitted to be in the gaming areas or hang out in clubs, bars, or lounges where alcohol is served – even if you say you have no intention of drinking, you will not be allowed into those areas.
What do I need for Identification in Las Vegas?
Secondly, you will be asked for proper identification to prove your age whenever is necessary – whether you sit down at a slot machine in the casino or before you enter a nightclub or bar. Expect to get carded a lot.
You must be able to produce a government-issued photo ID with your name and age clearly printed on it. Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Current Driver's License (U.S. only)
- Passport / Passport Card
- Federal or State ID
- Military ID
While some driving licenses from other countries will usually pass the ID check at the hotel bars and in the casinos, it's not always accepted at the much more stringent security checkpoint to enter the nightclubs or pool parties. If it is a driver's license from a country that the security staff are unfamiliar with and cannot verify its authenticity, they will likely just turn the guest away to be on the safe side.
For international guests, passports are the easiest methods of ID to use for the clubs to make sure you don't get turned away.
Here are some examples of unacceptable IDs:
- Student ID
- Expired Driver's License
- Social Security Card
- Photo of passport or acceptable ID (must have actual ID on hand)
For our international guests: laminated forms of ID are typically an automatic "no" at the nightclubs and day clubs; because it's an easy form of identification to duplicate and forge. You will be asked to produce another form of ID. The most common example Vegas clubs encounter is the Matricula Consular ID from Mexico, and those usually get turned away. You will be asked to come back with your passport as an acceptable form of ID.
WEAPONS ARE A NO-NO
While it is not technically illegal to carry concealed (or open carry, for that matter) registered firearms inside the casino (pursuant to NRS 202.350), keep in mind that all of these casinos are privately owned and employ a "no guns allowed" policy. It is legally within their rights to ask guests with firearms to leave their property, and refusal to leave could cost you a hefty fine and/or 6 months of jail time.
As far as the nightclubs and day clubs go, weapons of any kind are not permitted inside the venue, including any sort of firearm, pocketknives, brass knuckles, cowboy spurs, etc., and you will be thoroughly checked before entering.
While it is your choice whether or not to bring protection when traveling, you're not going to be able to carry anything into any of the entertainment venues in Las Vegas.
NIGHTCLUB / DAY CLUB SECURITY
Security at the nightclubs, strip clubs, and day clubs are especially strict. Before you enter any such venue, you will be asked to empty your pockets or have your purse checked and must submit to a pat-down and metal detector scan – it's not dissimilar to a TSA check when traveling.
Here are some things that you will be either asked to throw away or go back to your room to deposit before coming back:
- Vapes – while weed dispensaries are extremely popular and vaping is in vogue, most venues will not allow vapes inside their premises. They will ask you to leave it in your room or, at the very least, throw away the cartridge inside, even if it isn't a CBD cartridge.
- Camera equipment – the only recording equipment you are allowed to bring is the one in your phone. Digital cameras, selfie sticks, et al. are not allowed into the venue.
- Outside Food/Beverages
- Prescription medication (or anything resembling pills) – if you need a specific type of prescription medication while you are inside the venue, you will have to bring the prescription and explain what the medicine is for; otherwise, expect to get pulled to the side.
- Packs of gum – this really only applies to day clubs, which tend to be a lot stricter about checking everything that goes into the venue, but guests have been known to try and sneak narcotics inside packs of gum to get them into the venue, so expect to have your gum taken away at the door.
- Oversized bags – anything larger than a ladies' clutch will be denied into the nightclubs, and at a day club, you will be required to purchase a locker for the day (typically $40+) and leave the bag inside the locker. This applies to all backpacks, messenger bags, totes, gym bags, and all other similar luggage.
INTOXICATION AND BELLIGERENT GUESTS
Whether it's inside the casinos, in a nightclub, or even at the strip clubs, security staff is there for both your protection and for everyone else around you. If a guest has clearly been overserved and is too intoxicated to keep drinking, he/she is then a huge liability to other guests, the staff, and the guest him/herself.
The same applies to guests showing signs of being violent, overly aggressive, or just downright rude: those are security risks to everyone in their vicinity, including themselves.Nightclub and day club staff will not hesitate to deny anyone exhibiting the above signs and will either ask you to come back in an hour once you're a little more sober or just deny your entry for the night.
Everyone is encouraged to have a good time in Vegas; just make sure you're not too incoherent when you get to the club door!
WHAT'S THE VERDICT?
All of the security protocols in Las Vegas are there to make sure that everyone can enjoy their stay safely and with peace of mind.
Many of the guidelines are pretty straightforward and matter-of-fact, but they are all worth remembering to avoid any hiccups during the duration of your stay.
Hopefully, this guide has been helpful in giving you a little bit of an insight into the world of Vegas nightlife!
Ready to get your weekend started?