Las Vegas is known nationwide as a place to relax and let loose. But far from the Wild West, Las Vegas has its own set of peculiar laws that can get the uninitiated into trouble. Before you fly out to enjoy a night (or a few) in our fair city, read up on Las Vegas laws—from the offbeat to the downright weird.
In Vegas, the police will not respond to an accident unless there’s an injury or a major roadblock. If you are looking to get an on-scene police report for your fender-bender, think again. When it comes to minor car accidents, you are on your own. Take lots of pictures and get the names and numbers of eyewitnesses who can corroborate your story. If you are driving a rental car, contact the agency immediately—they will send someone out to write their own report.
Contrary to what you may have seen in movies and television, it is not technically illegal for someone to count cards. It is also legal for casinos to pick and choose who they want to serve, just like any other business. Unless you are an expert at counting cards, most casino managers will allow you to play. But if they see you winning too much money, they may ask you to leave or move to another game. They can’t take away what you have already won, but they do not have to keep you either.
I Can’t Bring What?
Vegas proudly stands by its reputation as the “Sin City” and even revels in its tawdriness. Despite all you can do (e.g., gamble and drink in the street), there are some weird things you cannot have in Vegas. Here are some highlights:
The Fremont Street Experience is legendary for its quirky street performers. However, city officials got sick of hula hoopers gumming up pedestrian traffic, so they banned them. If you want to break out of your favorite childhood habit, you will have to do it elsewhere.
Sheriff Bill Young argued that hip-hop concerts brought more violence to Las Vegas than any other acts and implored casinos to stop hosting them. He warned that they would be solely responsible for any hip-hop concert-related damage. Casinos put up a fight, but they started canceling hip-hop artist bookings. Yet no one is trying to put a stop to alcohol use, which is likely a larger catalyst for fights.
If you are planning on bringing a certain blonde socialite to a Wynn Hotel, think again. The celebrity was banned from all Wynn hotels following an arrest for cocaine possession, so seek alternative accommodations.
Don’t Feed the Pigeons (or Homeless)
Vegas bans feeding these city-dwelling birds, with the proposal actually referring to them as “flying rats.” Those who are caught handing their leftovers to pigeons will be let off with a warning, but repeatedly ignoring the ordinance can result in six months of imprisonment.
The city also tried to ban feeding the homeless but included charities setting up mobile kitchens. A judge, rightfully, ruled the ban unconstitutional.
Vegas is a 24/7 party zone—unless you live off the Strip. Those who live in Vegas year-round got understandably sick of bachelor and bachelorette parties renting out their neighbor’s houses to party all weekend, keeping everyone else awake. It’s only legal to rent a house in Vegas for a month or more. Those who are found renting their homes to party-dwellers can be fined.
No Pawning of Dentures
Vegas has a law on the books that prohibits the pawning of dentures. The ordinance states that any person who “sells, exchanges, or barters” their teeth can face fines and imprisonment.
This might seem strange in a city where people are willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money for expensive surgeries or procedures that may or may not work. But according to Vegas law, you cannot sell your teeth for quick cash.
Other Weird Nevada Laws
Las Vegas is not the only Nevada city with some weird laws on the books. Here are a few others:
No Camels on The Highways
In the 1800s, camels were used for transportation in Nevada, but it was decided that they were too expensive and hard to keep alive in the desert climate. The camel population dwindled until there were none left. In order to prevent further problems with camels and other exotic animals escaping into the wild, it became illegal for anyone to own them in Nevada.
Everyone in Elko Must Wear A Mask
Elko, Nevada is the only city in the United States that requires citizens to wear masks while they are out in public. It can be anything from surgical masks to ski masks—just as long as they cover your face.
The law was put into effect in 1918 to prevent people from spreading disease during an outbreak of influenza. However, the law is no longer enforced much today—at least not until COVID-19 hit.
If You Have a Mustache, Don’t Kiss Women in Eureka
This is another weird law still on the books from the 1800s. If you have a mustache in Eureka, you cannot kiss women for religious reasons. However, we don’t expect to see any mustached men in the back of a police car for this infraction!
Are You in Trouble in Las Vegas?
If you came to Vegas to let loose and got a little out of control, you are not alone. However, you may want to brush up on the city’s laws. A slight mistake could land you in jail with a hefty fine.