Given the city's lure of easy money and "Sin City" reputation, Las Vegas naturally attracts a lot of unsavory characters, as evidenced by its rather high violent crime rate: 763.4 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in calendar year 2010 (according to the FBI's Crime in the United States report). This is substantially higher than big cities like Los Angeles and New York, where the comparable numbers were 442.6 and 391.9 in 2010. Naturally, the crimes that drive Vegas's numbers so high are robbery and aggravated assault.
Be vigilant and do not leave any valuables visible in your car. If you are lucky enough to win a large jackpot, you can ask the casino to hold your winnings in its safe or to pay you with a check so that you are not walking out the door with a large amount of cash. If you insist on receiving all your winnings in cash, all casinos have security personnel available to escort you to your car or room upon request. Like most large tourism destinations, the Strip has its share of pickpockets and purse snatchers, so keep your wallet in a front pocket or keep a tight hold on your purse.
Major casinos are generally very safe. Casinos take security very seriously and have cameras recording almost every square inch of their property, as well as uniformed and plainclothes security personnel patrolling at all times.
Make sure your hotel door is closed safely at night and use the deadbolt if one is provided. If there is knocking on the door at night, don't open it unless you are sure of the good intentions of the persons that knocked. They might just be drunk, but there could be more serious trouble. Remain calm and call security when necessary.
Numerous people along Las Vegas Boulevard will attempt to hand you fliers advertising adult entertainment or prostitution services. Simply ignore them and they won't harm you, although they are profoundly annoying.
Despite the advertising slogan What happens here, stays here, Las Vegas has laws that are vigorously enforced. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas and all of Clark County, although it is legal at licensed brothels in a few rural counties of Nevada. Pedestrians may drink alcohol from an open container on "the Strip", but not in automobiles (not even for passengers).
Remain vigilant while driving. Las Vegas Boulevard ("the Strip") is notorious for fender benders and other traffic collisions as a result of the heavy stop-and-go traffic and the numerous distractions (pirates, volcanoes, women) offered to drivers.
Some part of Interstate 15 is always under construction to relieve its perennial traffic jams. The current portion under construction is between Blue Diamond Road and Tropicana Avenue. The construction zones tend to have inadequate signage and poor lane markings, which combined with the large number of tourists results in frequent last-minute lane changes and in turn, many multi-vehicle car accidents. Many people are also driving intoxicated as well; Nevada has an unusually high frequency of traffic deaths with alcohol involved, and most of them happen in and near this city.
Expect extremely low humidity and temperatures above 105°F (40°C) May to September. Bring sunscreen and wear loose, light-colored clothing that substantially reflects sunlight. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids.
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