Las Vegas’ famous phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” may be catchy, but it can also be misleading. In a city where public drunkenness is acceptable, and gambling is lawful, you can still spend a night (or two) in jail if you’re not careful. Here you’ll find some of the things that could get anyone arrested in Las Vegas.
Paying for a prostitute
This seems obvious, but it is a common misconception that prostitution is legal in the city of Las Vegas. Prostitution is not legal within Clark County, where Las Vegas lies. It is only legal in 12 (however, only eight have brothels) of the 16 counties in Nevada, and Pahrump is the closest town to Sin City where you’ll find a legal brothel.
Entering a casino after you’ve been banned
Las Vegas is the place to get wild and crazy, but it is possible to cross the line. If your behavior concerns casino staff enough, you can be asked to leave a property and not return, and this is true for anyone, including celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Frank Sinatra. Violating such a ban constitutes trespassing, which carries both jail time and a fine.
Smoking marijuana on the street or in a hotel
Marijuana is legal to purchase now in Las Vegas, but it comes with some strings attached. You can have it on your person, but it is still illegal to use inside hotel rooms, on public streets, in nightclubs, and on casino floors. Anyone caught smoking or using marijuana in those public spaces is subject to arrest and a $600 fine.
Having a baby and not telling anyone
If you come to Las Vegas and give birth, be sure to tell at least one person about it. Should something happen to your baby, and you don’t tell anyone, you can be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor according to NRS 201.150; this applies no matter when the child died, or how.
Selling dentures or brass knuckles to pawn shops
Pawn shops are all over Las Vegas. However, there are limits on what customers can offer to these establishments. People cannot sell dentures and brass knuckles to a pawn shop, the former of which is specifically outlined in the county ordinance that governs Las Vegas. Dentures are considered medical equipment, and the record-keeping practices required by law prevents pawnbrokers from accepting them.
Engaging in “criminal” anarchy
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that anarchy is illegal in Las Vegas, as it is in many other places. Nevada is one of only 13 states to have a criminal anarchy statute on its books. The funny thing about this law is that the title specifies “criminal” anarchy. The definition provided by the statute and the title, however, suggests there is a means of “civil” anarchy.
Defacing the Bellagio Fountains
One of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas is the fountains at the Bellagio. People from all over the world come to see the dancing water display, but some visitors have been known to take it too far. If you’re caught defacing the fountains in any way, such as public urination, swimming, or dumping waste, security and/or police can escort you off the property.
Touching the girl that gives you a lap dance
Lap dances are technically illegal in Las Vegas. While that ordinance isn’t heavily enforced, there are strict restrictions imposed on lap dances that aren’t ignored. While dancers can touch their patrons on certain body parts, anything more than that can be construed as illegal fondling, which carries fines between $250 and $1,000.
Pigeons are everywhere in the Las Vegas Valley and are protected by law. NRS 7.32.110 specifically protects pigeons and other animals from being fired upon, despite the bird’s reputation as a public nuisance. Violating the law is considered a misdemeanor; three offenses within a seven-year period is a felony.
Walking your dog on the Strip in the afternoon
You can come to Las Vegas with your pet, but you might have a hard time walking it if you stay on the Strip. Household pets are only allowed on the Strip between 5 a.m. and 12 p.m., an ordinance which came about to discourage panhandlers. There are further restrictions on where pet owners can walk their furry friends as well; violations of the ordinance carry possible jail time and fines.
Throwing a party at someone’s house
Las Vegas is the place to come and party, as long as you don’t do it in someone’s (unregistered) home. Laws have banned “party” houses for the most part in Clark County; Las Vegas allows them only under heavy restrictions. Homeowners have to register and obtain special permits with the city to allow gatherings on their property. If you are caught throwing a party in an unregistered house, police can deem you and the homeowner a public nuisance.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.