Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lawyer's Edge
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish

Casinos' Legal Obligation To Protect Customers
Major hotel-casinos in Nevada are granted privileged licenses by the state and local governments for unlimited gaming and multiple liquor licenses. In the Las Vegas area, we have dozens of major casino resorts which are magnets for huge numbers of tourists, conventioneers and locals who are attracted by the restaurants, clubs, shops and entertainment venues as well as the gaming tables and machines.

We all know that this multi-billion dollar resort industry is the economic engine which drives the Nevada economy.

Most of the people who comprise the customer base for our local casinos are decent, law-abiding individuals. However, we cannot deny that casinos also attract a certain number of those who attempt to commit criminal acts of theft or violence and others who become intoxicated and engage in disorderly conduct.

Nevada laws impose a legal obligation on hotel-casinos to provide reasonable protection to keep their law-abiding customers safe from the “bad guys” who are often present. If someone is a victim of a criminal act on the premises of a hotel, the business entity is not automatically liable to compensate the victim.

However, the law requires the hotel to employ adequate security measures and to take reasonable precautions to protect their customers from foreseeable harm. For a criminal act to be foreseeable there had to be either prior similar acts or the failure by the casino and its employees to exercise good judgment.

Although casinos are not held liable for injuries resulting from serving liquor and then allowing an intoxicated person to get in his car and crash into other vehicles or pedestrians outside of the resort premises, they are held to be legally responsible if the accident injures another customer on the hotel property. There exists a legal duty of protection toward customers but not toward others.

Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. To contact Bruce, visit his website at

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