Poker Entertainment

Stay Safe During the WSOP: Which Spots to Avoid in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas offers an extraordinary urban living adventure and should be included in your must-do experiences. As the upcoming WSOP approaches, it’s time to plan your visit, considering that the WSOP holds different meanings for different attendees.ย 

Even on a more affordable budget, you can still enjoy the WSOP, whether for a complete schedule or a weekend tournament. Adequate preparation is crucial for serious players and casual enthusiasts looking to maximize their experience in Sin City.

While Las Vegas is known for its vibrant Strip and luxurious casinos, it’s essential to be aware of the high crime rates in the city. With crime exceeding the national average by 59 percent, caution is necessary, especially when venturing alone at night. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid visiting altogether, as many people visit Las Vegas without falling victim to crime. By taking necessary precautions and being prepared, you can ensure your safety and make the most of your time in the dazzling realm of Sin City.

Photo by Unsplash


Located in the southern part of Las Vegas, Huntridge is an area that has gained a reputation for its dangerous nature. If ever you should find yourself there, you should watch out for Circle Park. The place has been notorious for drug addicts and thieves. 

There was actually a stabbing incident back in 2006 that shut down Circle Park momentarily. However, despite more recent crimes, including the assault and shooting of an 80-year-old woman in 2018, the park has since reopened and operates between 7 am and 11 pm. 

As a tourist, it is advisable to avoid visiting this neighborhood unless necessary, considering its troubled history and the ongoing safety concerns associated with Circle Park.


In the past, downtown Las Vegas was the epicenter of high crime rates. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, downtown experienced more gunshots and robberies than any other area in Las Vegas. And the most notorious place? Fremont Street, which is coincidentally known for being the busiest street downtown as well as its dark alleyways. No wonder, the crime rate at that time was high!

The safety of downtown buses and bus journeys was a concern, with common assaults, pickpocketing, and muggings. To address this issue, the police presence in the district was quadrupled. As a result, violent crimes gradually decreased. By 2013, robberies had been reduced from 35 in 2012 to 32, and assaults decreased from 29 to 25. However, gun-related attacks showed an increase from 7 to 14.

While interventions helped improve the situation, pickpockets still target bus stops and journeys, particularly during the ‘light show’ period. It is advisable to keep cash out of sight during these times. The crime rates in the adjacent residential areas have only slightly decreased by over 1%.

Charleston Heights

Charleston Heights is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation, with a staggering 45.5% of children living below the federal poverty line and unemployment rates soaring 73% higher than the national average. The area carries a significant crime risk, with a 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim. 

Daily thefts, assaults, and burglaries contribute to the high crime rate, as exemplified by the report of at least 50 crimes in and around Charleston Heights over two days in October 2022. Disturbing personal experiences shared by residents, such as witnessing shootings and hearing gunshots at night, further emphasize the neighborhood’s dangerous environment. Considering all these factors, it is strongly advised to avoid Charleston Heights.

Photo by Unsplash

West Las Vegas

West Las Vegas, located northwest of the Strip, is notorious for its drug and gang activity, making it the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. This area is characterized by high poverty levels, with many residents living below the poverty line. 

The violent crime rates in West Las Vegas are alarmingly 713% higher than the national average, resulting in a 1 in 32 chance of falling victim to a violent crime. Shockingly, the overall crime risk in this neighborhood is 1 in 7. 

Homicides are frequently reported in West Las Vegas, and recent incidents include an armed barricade situation and the tragic stabbing death of a young mother in her home. Simply put, West Las Vegas is not a safe place to visit, whether during the day or after dark, and should be avoided when planning your vacation.

Explore Beyond the WSOP

Undoubtedly, the World Series of Poker holds a unique appeal. Even for those who are not avid poker players, the Main Event is often likened to “poker’s Superbowl.” It is true that the WSOP boasts immense prize pools unmatched elsewhere and has given rise to poker legends like Chris Moneymaker, who transformed a modest investment into millions overnight.

However, it’s important to note that larger player fields present more significant challenges. Many WSOP poker events span multiple days, requiring a substantial commitment of time and finances, especially if you plan to stay in a hotel over the weekend. There is no shame in not wishing to face off against thousands of players continuously for several days.

The good news is that poker players now have more options than ever for alternative events throughout Las Vegas. Casinos have become savvy and are organizing concurrent tournament series. You can see the sights, but make sure you steer clear from the places that youโ€™re not supposed to go!

Prominent establishments like The Wynn, Venetian, Golden Nugget, and Aria offer a refreshing change of atmosphere. These venues boast not only stunning settings but also host daily tournaments that receive a significant boost due to their alignment with the WSOP. If thatโ€™s not your speed, you can always find something else in the city that never sleeps!

Photo by Unsplash

Essential Safety Tips

  • Dress Appropriately

Avoid wearing flashy or expensive clothing and jewelry in areas away from the casinos. Drawing attention to valuable items can make you a target for theft.

  • Secure Your Belongings

Use a bag or purse with a lock to prevent pickpocketing or purse-snatching incidents. Keep your bag secured to your person at all times.

  • Be Mindful of Your Phone

Avoid displaying your smartphone in public. If you need to use your phone, find a safe location.

  • Show Respect to Locals

Interact with locals politely and respectfully, acknowledging that you are a guest in their city.

  • Set a Budget

Determine a budget for your expenses in Las Vegas and stick to it. With numerous temptations and potential scams, it’s essential to establish a limit that you are comfortable with and avoid exceeding it.

Final Thoughts

Although specific neighborhoods may seem best to avoid, it’s important to note that Las Vegas is generally a safe city. Forbes even ranked it the 14th safest among American cities, with populations over 300,000. So, if you’re visiting, feel free to explore with confidence. Just exercise caution and avoid unnecessary risks.

The WSOP game is an incredible event and a significant highlight for poker enthusiasts. While Las Vegas can have risks, there are plenty of ways to stay safe when visiting the Strip for the WSOP. Being aware of your surroundings, mindful of your company, and making informed choices about where you go can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Above all, prioritize your safety while at the WSOP and have a great time. Stay vigilant and take care of yourself during your visit to Las Vegas, making this upcoming WSOP the most memorable yet!

Related Posts

Are You Staying Safe? When to Know if Itโ€™s Enough Poker for You?

Discussions surrounding responsible gambling often center around concerns about underage individuals and excessive play in casinos, particularly on slot machines and table games. While there is extensive literature…

Poker Player’s Code: Core Values You Need To Have When You Play The Game

As poker players, we all have different motivations for playing the game. Some of us play for the excitement, others play for the money, and others play simply…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *