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Breaking Down the Law: How can casinos and police keep The Strip safe?

Recent Las Vegas Shootings

Over the past few months, there have been episodes of violence on the Las Vegas Strip.

There was a large brawl at the Encore over Labor Day weekend, followed by shootings near the MGM, Paris, and Aria, along with a security officer involved shooting of an armed suspect at the South Point as well as a recent shooting at a liquor store near Bally’s and The Cromwell.

Several properties have indicated they will be increasing security measures in response to these recent events.

But what level of security is necessary for these strip properties to provide, and hat responsibility to these properties have to protect customers? Here to discuss the issue is attorney Matt Hoffmann with Battle Born Injury Lawyers.

  1. So we’ve had these shootings, and we just honored the anniversary of the October 1 tragedy. What should the strip properties be doing in response to these events?
  • Property owners owe a duty to patrons and guests to provide a safe environment, to the extent they can control such things.
  • This includes things like clean floors at a grocery store all the way to strip properties free from criminal activity.
  • Any property can be liable for the criminal acts of third parties if those acts were foreseeable.
  • If a property, and the area around it, are a fertile environment for criminal conduct – meaning there is a lot of criminal activity occurring at and around the property – then the property is “on notice” of the danger and must take reasonable steps to keep the premises secure.
  • So when we look at these recent shootings, up and down the strip, every casino is on notice that there is an ongoing problem with a criminal element carrying firearms on the Strip.
  • Because of that, they owe all of their guests a duty to provide reasonable, adequate security to protect against these bad actors.
  • So that is why we are hearing about various properties increasing their security measures on the Strip.
    • They know there is an increased risk of criminal activity right now, so they must increase their security presence to match that threat.
  1. What about the October 1 shooting. Wouldn’t that have already increased the level of security at these properties?
  • That is a legitimate criticism or concern.
  • Obviously what happened on October 1 was an unprecedented event.
  • But there is no doubt it put all properties on notice that their properties could be used for a mass-casualty event.
  • And I think we saw, initially, a huge increase in security measures to make sure guests were not bringing weapons onto the properties.
  • What I fear happened is that, with time and COVID restrictions, a kind of “perfect storm” ‘occurred.
  • Strip properties have faced unheard of financial losses, resulting in layoffs.
  • Lower prices have been offered at premium properties.
  • And COVID restrictions in other states have led to massive unemployment, giving many people the freedom to travel to Las Vegas.
  • So we have a ton of new visitors to Las Vegas, with some of those visitors obviously engaged in criminal behavior, and it has been combined with Strip properties that may have been understaffed for financial reasons.
  • I just hope these properties ramp up their security efforts immediately, because it is clear there is an ongoing danger to guests at these properties.