Las Vegas Casinos Got “Cold Feet” Over New Netflix Show

  • The Strat nixed a film location request, The Rio requested its name be removed
  • The series creator said execs “didn’t want us running through these hotels with guns”
  • Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, and the Plaza gave ‘Obliterated’ permission to film
Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino
Rejected by the STRAT and made to digitally remove the name Rio; filming gun-packed Netflix shows in Las Vegas is no easy feat. [Image:]

A cold shoulder

The creators of a new action-comedy Netflix series debuting this week have revealed why Las Vegas’s casinos gave them the cold shoulder when casting for film locations.

It was absolutely the gun violence”

The Las Vegas Journal-Review cited Josh Heald, one of the three creators of ‘Obliterated,’ as stating: “It was absolutely the gun violence.” Heald explained that a sniper scene scripted to be filmed at the top of The STRAT Hotel, Casino & Tower was ditched after executives at the casino-resort “got cold feet.”

Instead, the scene was shot atop the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. The Dreamscape Companies-owned casino-resort, however, didn’t want its name in lights. So, viewers will see the scene unfurl against the familiar Nevada hills on a Rio-shaped casino digitally re-named The Citadel to satisfy executives.

Reason for caution

Just reading the plot to ‘Obliterated’ would be enough to scare off most Vegas big-name casinos.

According to the LVRJ, the series involves a fake nuclear bomb threat to Sin City that turns out to be real, with the heroes of the piece blowing their operational budget early “on a party suite, booze, and a veritable buffet of drugs.”

didn’t want us running through these hotels with guns.”

With Las Vegas’s recent history of gun violence including the deadliest mass shooting in US history, the city was understandably hesitant to associate itself with a series combining firearms and casino resorts. As Heald puts it, casino executives “certainly just didn’t want us running through these hotels with guns.”

The LVRJ cited a statement from Nevada Film Office’s Production and Communications Manager, Danette Tull, in which she outlined the complexities of getting film locations approved involving firearms and pyrotechnics. “Due to the aftermath of 1 October, there is a heightened sensitivity versus years prior,” Tull affirmed.

They’ll be back

Heald, along with ‘Obliterated’ fellow creators Hayden Schlossberg, and Jon Hurwitz – the trio behind the hit ‘Karate Kid’ spin-off ‘Cobra Kai’ – certainly didn’t leave Vegas empty-handed.

Locations that did allow scenes to be filmed on their premises included Caesars Palace, the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, the Plaza Hotel & Casino, Drai’s at The Cromwell, and the Four Queens Hotel and Casino.

Despite experiencing some difficulties, the film-making trio expressed their love for Vegas and said they were “thinking of different stories and shows and movies that could be set in Las Vegas.” No doubt with far fewer guns.

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