Scott Roeben


Fair warning: The information we’re about to share may be disturbing to some. Death is a part of life. If the subject of death or suicide is upsetting, please don’t read further. In addition, this is a humor-based blog, so we’re not going to tap dance around this subject. If you take offense easily, best to move on to our other stories, there are currently 2,687 of them (only one is sort of uncomfortable).

So, dead people.

Hey, we warned you just two paragraphs ago!

We asked A.I. to create an image of a gambler hunched lifeless over a slot machine. A.I. was like, “I’m artificial, not a jerk.” Rude.

It’s not talked about often, especially in Las Vegas, but until Elon Musk figures out how to download our essences into robots, we’re all mortal.

That includes visitors to Las Vegas.

There’s an unspoken rule in Las Vegas media (at least that’s the perception): Avoid talking about death, especially when it involves tourists.

We don’t live by society’s, or traditional media’s, rules.

We got some exclusive data from the Southern Nevada Health District that sheds some light on how many Las Vegas visitors (non-Clark County residents) die while they’re here, as well as the number of homicides and suicides are in the mix. The Las Vegas Strip is in Clark County. (Downtown Las Vegas is in the City of Las Vegas.)

In 2022, the last full year for which these statistics are available, 1,928 non-Clark County residents (tourists) died in Las Vegas. The residency of 129 of those people couldn’t be determined definitively, but they’re lumped into these numbers, anyway.

The number of tourists who died in Las Vegas in 2021 was 2,253.

Of the Las Vegas visitor deaths in 2022, 1,487 (77%) were of natural causes. That number was 1,812, or 80%, in 2021.

Now, we get into the intriguing and undeniably awkward parts.

In 2022, 344 Las Vegas visitors (18% of the total deaths) died of accidents of various kinds. In 2021, 337 died of accidents. We trust this was mostly people who got drunk and didn’t use crosswalks. Just keeping it real.

In 2022, 51 Las Vegas visitors (2.6% of the total number of deaths) committed suicide, or about one per week. That number was 49 in 2021.

In 2022, 36 people (1.9% of the total) died of homicide. It was 27 people in 2021.

Two of the visitor deaths in 2022 had causes deemed “undetermined.” We blame cigars. Somebody has to.

These are the best numbers out there, but the SNHD reminds us, “Data is preliminary and total figures may change as records are reviewed and processed.”

Yes, Las Vegas is an upbeat, festive place, but there’s also a morbid fascination with what goes on behind-the-scenes, the unreported drama and stories of the people who met their end in Las Vegas—naturally, involuntarily or otherwise.

We’ve always found the “cone of silence” around death among Las Vegas visitors fascinating. Are we not taking a cruise because somebody fell off a ship and drowned? It’s terrible and sad, but it would be weird to make a vacation decision based upon such information being out in the world.

Isn’t it incredible nobody ever dies on airplanes, in taxis, massage parlors or at Disneyland? Please.

Las Vegas tends to get in the neighborhood of 40 million visitors a year. Every human activity accompanies them, and in some cases, even the “Big Shuffling Off of the Mortal Coil.”

The last time we recall a Las Vegas publication talking about visitors deaths was in 2015. Yet we get daily updates about visitation numbers and airport passenger stats and big jackpots and gaming revenue. Yes, death is a bit of a buzzkill, but so are shirtless photos of Criss Angel, and those are endlessly being passed around.

The SNHD doesn’t share where deaths occurred, but most Las Vegas visitors obviously die in casino resorts. Yes, it’s a bummer, and casinos go out of their way (in cahoots with law enforcement) to keep murders and suicides out of the headlines. Everything is done discreetly, and there’s a handshake deal nobody talks—otherwise, why do stories of suicides and murders appear so rarely in mainstream media?

For example, our recent story about a man at Rio who committed suicide with an AR-15 went unreported by traditional media for more than two weeks following our first reporting the news. Some guy strolls into a casino with an AR-15 and kills himself and some idiot on Twitter is the only one reporting it?

Would you rather hear such information, or not know? Does it affect your enjoyment of Las Vegas? Do you think social media is helping or hurting?

Or are you bothered by the time-honored Las Vegas tradition of keeping such news under wraps?

We believe the old-school thinking is hooey. Inquiring minds not only want to know, we need and deserve to know the truth.

Death is one of the best reminders life is short, and we should make the most of the time we have. And by that, we mean there needs to be more gambling, drinking and fornicating in Las Vegas.

Since you brought it up, no, we couldn’t get our hands on how many people die while having sex in Las Vegas hotels. We demand answers! And also video, possibly. We aren’t weird, you’re weird!





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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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