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 and others who become intoxicated and engage in disorderly conduct.
Although casinos are not held liable for injuries resulting from serving liquor and then allowing an intoxicated person to get in their 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.
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. I have represented victims of these violent acts in cases which resulted in very substantial settlements with the casinos.
Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Woodbury & Little. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. To contact Bruce, call him at 293-3674 or 699-7500, or visit his website at www.juww.com.