Can You Still be Victimized in “Safe” Vegas Hotels?
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Las Vegas provides that sense of care-free fun that we all can use once in a while, but whether we are just tired or falling all over ourselves at the end of the night, we all want to know that we are safe in our hotel rooms. You would think so with all those cameras everywhere, right? Right? According to a piece done by MSN News, you’re not as safe as you might think once you leave the casino floor.

There is much that goes on upstairs in the guest room hallways and patrons are blaming the hotels for not providing enough security as protection against would-be thieves and other unscrupulous criminals. Incidents like what happened to housekeeping maid Brandi Patrick in which she “was chased down the hallway at the Flamingo casino last year by a nearly naked man” seem to be commonplace enough to cause a ruckus. source Patrick admits that if she didn’t happen to have her cellphone with her at the time to call for help after locking herself in a cleaning closet, “no one would know it [’til] the end of the shift.” source

While most of crime committed among the guest rooms is burglary, most guests find it unsettling that with all the money they’re spending in the casinos, the hotels don’t seem to care as much about their personal and property safety. Guests want Casinos to prevent theft and rape, but at least make more effort to get warrants issued. According to MSN News, “Casino bosses say there is no need for extra security: America’s playground boasts more cameras per square foot than any airport or sports arena in the country, with thousands of high-tech lenses watching the gambling floors, lobbies and elevators.” However, some people claim that the lack of video surveillance in the guest room hallways only encourages crime, particularly those who engage in “door-push” crime, a sneaky move in which potential thieves will go up and down the hallways to check for any unlocked doors to rooms and plunder for valuables.

Casino officials argue that the downstairs camera network is enough of a deterrent, but by then the crime is done and the person could easily take the stairs to avoid the cameras, which was the case for a unconscious woman’s attacker at the Cosmopolitan and the rapist of a 65-year-old maid at Bally’s Casino. source

“Las Vegas Chief Deputy District Attorney James Sweetin said the absence of cameras not only encourages petty crimes such as burglary but makes more serious crimes harder to prosecute,” which seems to be the case most of the time with criminals who know when they’re not being watched. source

You might be wondering “Are there any hotels that watch the hallways?” The Associated Press found that of the 27 major casinos,”only Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, the MGM Grand and Tropicana Las Vegas monitor the halls above the gambling floor.” source That is a surprisingly small percentage of these major resorts that feel they ought to only be watching when your gambling. Many of the horror stories come from the maids whom work for the casinos, but for reasons unknown decide often to not report incidents that occur while they are working; it is unknown if this is out of fear or lack of trust in management to properly investigate.

Another reason most casinos give for the lack of cameras in the hallways is the cost. “A midsized hotel might pay $2 million to install the system and $100,000 a year to monitor it, according to Art Steele, who directed security at the Stratosphere Las Vegas from 1996 to 2009.” source The other problem hotels fear is being sued for negligence if a crime occurs, is recorded on a monitor somewhere and isn’t acted upon immediately. Most patrons don’t sympathize and believe it is a small price the hotel must pay in order to ensure guests that they have nothing to worry about within the confines of its walls.

This situation seems like a far cry  from the notions of Las Vegas we have in advertisements and movie films such as “Casino”, “Vegas Vacation” and even “The Hangover”, making some of the situations in the “Ocean’s 11” series more plausible. However, all of this never makes any one person guilty simply because they appeared on a monitor screen. More substantial evidence must always be presented in a case and people should know their rights.

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