Nevada finds no right of reasonable access to public accommodations unless a state antidiscrimination statute confers such a right

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that businesses of public amusement (including casinos) have the right to exclude patrons at will unless a state or federal antidiscrimination law limits their discretion. Slade v. Caesars Entertainment Corp., 373 P.3d 74 (Nev. 2016). A state statute provided that “all gaming establishments in this state must remain open to the general public and the access of the general public to gaming activities must not be restricted in any manner except as provided by the Legislature.” Nev. Rev. Stat. §463.0129(1)(e). But it also provided that “[t]his section does not ... [a]brogate or abridge any common-law right of a gaming establishment to exclude any person from gaming activities or eject any person from the premises of the establishment for any reason.” Nev. Rev. Stat. §463.0129(3)(a).

 

The court held that the common law gave places of entertainment full powers to determine who to serve, citing one Indiana Supreme Court case, Donovan v. Grand Victoria Casino & Resort, LP, 934 N.E.2d 1111, 1112, 1115-1116 (Ind. 2010) and several federal court cases. It noted that New Jersey had adopted the opposite rule, Uston v. Resorts Intl. Hotel, Inc., 445 A.2d 370 (1982), as had some early common law cases, Donnell v. State, 48 Miss. 661, 681 (1873), but rejected that approach. At the same time, the court emphasized that antidiscrimination statutes may limit the right to exclude of places of public accommodation, and that Nevada had such a statute. Nev. Rev. Stat. §651.050(3), §651.070.

 

There were some dissenting judges who would have held the casino to the common law duties of innkeepers to serve the public without unjust discrimination, but the majority found the state statute to codify the common law right to exclude for casinos even in their capacity as innkeepers.