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I visited Las Vegas a few times, as an adult. I will be staying a day or two in the city with my underage children and would like to show them casinos (which they know from movies).

I know that gambling in the US is for people aged 21+ and that children are not allowed at gambling sites.

On the other hand, it is apparently OK for them to cross a casino, they just have to move.

I do not know whether the intent is to protect their innocent souls (in which case we would be moving very slowly between the tables and they could let us do that, as we are not technically "staying"), or to not disturb the players (in which case we will probably not be allowed to go between tables, but rather though the main path).

My practical questions are:

  • is it possible to slowly walk between the tables with the children?
  • or is it just a fast paced walk though the main hall?
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Nevada criminal law is that minors may not:

Loiter, or be permitted to loiter, in or about any room or premises wherein any licensed game, race book, sports pool or pari-mutuel wagering is operated or conducted.

As the Caesar's chain puts it:

Minors are not allowed to stand next to slot machines or table games, but they may walk through the casino.

We do not offer childcare. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult 21 or older while moving through the casino. They must keep moving and are not allowed to loiter next to table games, slot machines or lounges. However, they ARE allowed in non-gaming areas such as in restaurants, hotel rooms, swimming pools and retails shops with adult accompaniment and supervision.

Walking very slowly amid the tables to watch would quickly become loitering, and a member of the casino staff will likely ask you to move along. Casinos and individual members of staff vary in exactly how rigorously they enforce this (there's no requirement you racewalk, but they keep a close eye on you), but sticking to the main paths rather than sauntering between tables is probably a better bet; many casinos have tables that sit right up against the main paths anyway.

  • 16
    Once as a teen I was in a casino that had color-coded carpet to indicate minor-forbidden zones. Remember, though, Las Vegas has slots at airport gates. In supermarkets. If you really want to show your kids the senior citizens squandering their pensions in Gomorrah, it won't be hard. – Andrew Lazarus Jul 1 '18 at 22:26
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    Yep. Your kids certainly can see gambling in action, but they won't be hanging around the Craps table. – Zach Lipton Jul 1 '18 at 22:35
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    I’m even more baffled by Caesar’s statement that apparently minors aren’t even allowed in their own hotel rooms without adult supervision. So if a family is staying there, even if just using it as a hotel and staying well clear of the casinos, the parents aren’t allowed to put the kid to bed and then nip off for a night cap at the bar, for instance. That seems utterly bizarre and completely unenforceable. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 2 '18 at 8:38
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    @JanusBahsJacquet: leaving your kids unattended in a hotel room may be an issue (we had in Europe a very mediatized case with Maddie McCann.) It of course depends on their age. For 15-21 yo I would not have any issue leaving them by themselves (without a single hope for them to actually be in bed) – WoJ Jul 2 '18 at 9:10
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    @Damon While that's an interesting interpretation, and there's an argument it's a poorly written law, casino security is unlikely to stand around engaging in a debate as to whether observing gambling is a distinct activity from legally prohibited loitering; they're just going to tell you to move along, because that's their job. And whatever the statute says, nothing stops the casino from enforcing a stricter policy. – Zach Lipton Jul 2 '18 at 9:30
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In most casinos there is a subtle yet clear distinction between the main walking paths which cross the casino floors and the games areas themselves (usually with signs forbidding people under 21 to enter the gaming areas).

So you can walk along those paths, which may be on the edges of the casino floors, between the gaming areas and the bars, shops and restaurants that surround them, or go between gaming areas. No need to race or anything, though if you stay too long with your children looking at a specific table they might nudge you along.

Note that in many cases you can sit in a bar or restaurant just feet away from the gaming area anyway...

  • I remember we had to "follow the blue carpet" when our school trip group visited a casino (to dine in the function room). – Muzer Jul 2 '18 at 13:26
  • If you're staying in a casino, you often need to walk through the gaming area to reach the elevators to your room, the dining area, the Strip, etc. – GalacticCowboy Jul 2 '18 at 17:02
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Long childhood memories come along, as I was still young when I was in Vegas for the first time.

My advice would be to look for kid-friendly casinos, Some handle it better than others. I remember the Circus Circus being considerate of the case, with clear maps of the gambling floors where kids can be taken, obviously being the main paths.

There, I was 10 at the time, I could view slot machines working for real for the very first time. In addition, this specific casino has an indoor amusement park that can complete the content of a family fun-packed day and the typical carnival games.

New things come to the scene, other icons disappear like the Sahara casino a few years ago. Thus, this advice may be actual or outdated, check before you go!

  • Thanks, this is good advice. I did not know Sahara was gone (I live in France) and my last trip to LV was 12 years ago. I stayed at Sahara once. – WoJ Jul 2 '18 at 9:14
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    Many of the casinos in Las Vegas are very family-friendly (think Ceasar's, the Venetian...), if not family oriented (think Excalibur, New York New York, TI...), and all are ready to deal with the flow of tourists including children, so it's really easy in all of them to know where you can and can't go, it's usually very well signposted. – jcaron Jul 2 '18 at 15:44
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    @jcaron-Now it has been about 4 years since I last went, fads come and go, but many of the casinos in Las Vegas "used to be" very family friendly. In fact, there was an entire campaign geared at promoting Vegas as a family destination. However, the last time I went, I was quite surprised to see that attracting 'families' is no longer desirable. While you can find kid-friendly activities, it is nothing like it was. Vegas became very "adult" focused even if you are just walking the main paths. The reason I was told that casinos stopped courting families is because they don't gamble. – Dunk Jul 2 '18 at 20:37
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It has been several years since I was in Las Vegas, but what I remember most is the miasma of cigarette smoke in the casinos. Assuming you want to expose your children to that, you might look for a casino that allows you to look down on the gaming floor from above. I remember being able to see at least some of the gaming floor from the 2nd floor of the Luxor.

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