Las Vegas Police State?

First time visitors to Las Vegas are typically overwhelmed. Their perspectives get skewed. This mind-shift is in part done intentionally by the resorts in order to break the visitor out of their daily routine and transport their mind to its vacation. First time visitors take a taxi to their hotel on the strip, and since the Las Vegas Strip is so huge, the Strip itself becomes synonymous with Las Vegas in total.

The article below describes the “Las Vegas police state” where cameras everywhere record our every action. The author clearly must have been confined to the Strip during her visit because in terms of cameras, Las Vegas is the same as any other North American city. What’s different about Las Vegas is how few cameras are operated by police compared to other world cities like London England. In Las Vegas, most cameras are operated by the casino hotels and private landlords, whereas in many other cities, street level cameras are operated by the police. From this perspective, Las Vegas is much less of a police state and much more like any other mall or hotel in North America.

Maybe the author just isn’t used to the intensity of the Las Vegas Strip, but in all big North American cities, cameras are everywhere. They are in most office buildings, apartment buildings, retail malls and plazas. All professionally managed buildings have cameras. With new digital technology, recording a physical environment is simple and cheap. Having a property surveillance system is good risk management. Property managers can access recordings from multiple devices such as their laptop or mobile, and the recordings are saved in the cloud and accessible anywhere at any time. This type of surveillance isn’t an innovation of the Las Vegas hotel/casino. This surveillance is happening everywhere.

A police state is one where the government uses authority arbitrarily through the police. The key part of a police state is that it’s driven by the government. Citizens in a police state have no choice but to comply. The difference between monitoring in a police state and monitoring on the Las Vegas Strip is our ability to opt out. On the Las Vegas Strip as in other controlled environments that are privately owned, consumers have the ability to choose whether to participate. Walmart has cameras everywhere inside their stores, and if consumers don’t like being on camera while they shop, then they can choose to shop elsewhere. If consumers don’t like the idea of being on camera all the time, then they can choose not to shop at that mall or gamble in that casino who is recording their every move. If someone doesn’t like the idea of being on camera each time they visit their office or each time they come home to their condo apartment, they can choose to work and live somewhere else. In a free enterprise system, consumers have the choice. This is not a police state.

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