Let me kick this off by stating that Las Vegas is a safe destination. As a person who spends a LOT of time jumping from attraction to attraction, it’s rare that I feel unsafe or uneasy.
Especially along the Strip & Fremont Street, security personnel and police officers are numerous, and tourists rarely encounter unsafe situations.
With that being said, there are bad actors that look to take advantage of tourists that are flush with cash and oftentimes inebriated.
Avoiding crime and staying safe in Las Vegas is easy if you’re aware of your surroundings and avoid behaviors that attract criminals.
Below are some of the most common strategies you can employ to stay safe while visiting Las Vegas!
See Also: Las Vegas Rookie Mistakes to Avoid!
Where there are crowds, there are pickpockets. Las Vegas is no exception.
I personally prefer to carry all of my valuables (wallet, cell phone, etc.) in my front pocket. Things get pretty snug up there, but there’s no way in heck someone is going to be able to slip an item out.
An alternative strategy to avoid pickpockets is employing a travel wallet, many of which are available on Amazon, here. The best options zip closed, and discreetly strap around your waist.
Keep Your Valuables (Cell Phone & Wallet) Stowed Away
Even people that employ a pickpocket-proof travel wallet commonly put themselves at risk of theft when sitting at a bar, restaurant, or at a slot machine by placing valuables on the table next to them.
While it may feel safe (after all, you’re staring right at it!), thieves commonly work in teams to distract you, oftentimes by starting a conversation or staging an accident. While you’re looking the other way, the distractor’s partner swoops in to take your unsupervised item.
Don’t set your phone down on a slot ledge, bartop, or table – Keep it in your hand or stowed away.
The fact that many slot games now have wireless charging capabilities built-in makes this more of a challenge. While I commonly charge at those machines, my hand is always over the top of my phone to ensure I don’t fall victim.
Don’t Hire that “Lady of the Night”
While the “oldest profession” is illegal in Las Vegas, there’s still a strong probability that men will be propositioned at some point during their visit.
Unfortunately, a number of those men get “Trick Rolled”, or robbed, once they get up to the room by the woman and/or her accomplices.
This crime usually comes in a few specific flavors:
- It’s suggested that the John take a shower to freshen up. When he emerges, she’s gone with the goods.
- The John is invited to her room… only to meet her accomplices, who are there to rob him.
- The John is drugged and subsequently robbed.
There are countless stories (like this one) of hopeful men being robbed of cash, jewelry, and other valuables – Some are even assaulted in the process.
I’m sure many, if not most, of these incidents go unreported out of embarrassment.
Gents, go to where it’s legal. Don’t roll the dice on this in Clark County.
Don’t Invite Strangers to Your Room
On that note, I don’t recommend trusting strangers with your room information for the same reasons you shouldn’t hire a “lady of the night”.
Obviously, this suggestion for staying safe in Las Vegas is commonly violated. If you intend to shack up with a stranger, do your best to vet the person as best you can. Proceed with caution, and trust your gut.
Safe Hotel Room Practices
There are some seemingly obvious, but crucial, things you’ll want to do to keep your hotel room safe:
- Always double-check that your door is completely closed and locked before leaving the room. Giving the handle a good jiggle and push before heading to the elevator lobby has saved me on a couple of occasions.
- Never leave your door propped open when you go grab ice, are waiting for a friend to come, etc.
- Keep valuables in the safe or on your person when you leave. I have personally been in a room where cash was taken from a friend’s suitcase. Yea, we reported it, but nothing came of it.
For those bringing a large amount of cash, see the next tip for keeping it safe.
Wire Large Amounts of Cash in Advance
Most casinos allow you to wire cash to the cage in advance of your visit and draw from it as you need it.
Not only does this allow you to save money on ATM fees, but you eliminate the chance of someone snagging it from your pocket or taking it from your hotel room. One less thing to worry about.
To wire front money to a specific casino, I’d recommend calling them for wire instructions so that you know it’ll end up in the right place. Don’t blindly trust wire instructions you find on the internet before confirming it by talking directly to the property.
Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Vehicle
Cars parked in casino ramps are broken into from time to time. I wouldn’t recommend leaving anything too valuable inside, and if you do, ensure it’s out of view.
I know, I know, this is a difficult ask in Las Vegas, but don’t overdo it – You make yourself a target for myriad crimes.
Additionally, you should continuously monitor your drink and never leave it unattended to ensure nothing is slipped in.
Steer Clear of Street Vendors
Oftentimes, vendors selling bottled water, beer, or even food pop up along the Strip or on pedestrian walkways. These vendors are not licensed and are thus unregulated.
You don’t want to buy a hot dog from a dude at a cart that doesn’t have a hand-washing sink, do you? I’m out.
Stick to the “Touristy” Areas at Night
While you’re guaranteed to stumble across some “unique” people along the Strip and Fremont Street, security and police presence are heavy and there are rarely security issues.
With that being said, things can get a bit “dicier” as you venture off the beaten path. Essentially, security, police, and fellow tourists can be few and far between, and there’s commonly a larger vagrant/homeless population. While this rarely presents an actual security risk, it certainly leaves some feeling uncomfortable.
On Fremont Street, I’d recommend sticking to the main drags. Obviously, the Fremont Street Experience itself is fair game, and you should also feel comfortable walking to Downtown Grand, The Mob Museum, Main Street Station, and The Cal (just down Main Street from Plaza, behind Circa). Just be aware of your surroundings and walk with a group if possible.
On the Strip, I’d recommend against walking north of Resorts World and Circus Circus after dark. There just isn’t a need. Take an Uber/Lyft from place to place as opposed to covering that ground on foot.
Hopefully, my advice addressing how to stay safe in Las Vegas was helpful! Ultimately, Las Vegas is a safe place to visit and is no riskier than other large cities.
Keep your head on a swivel, know your surroundings, leverage common sense, and protect your valuables.
And guys, don’t get trick rolled :).
Related: Avoid these Scams in Las Vegas – Junk fees, garbage casino games, and more!
I’m a former software salesman turned Vegas aficionado. While the craps table is my preferred habitat, I pull myself away to explore new attractions, shows, restaurants, and outdoor activities around Las Vegas with the intent of sharing my experiences.
Ultimately, I just want to help folks plan a better trip and save a few bucks in the process.