Not many people realize that there is a difference between Las Vegas private investigators and Las Vegas private detectives. Nevada State Law defines a “private investgator”, but it doesn’t define “private detective” except by excluding a large group of private eyes from being “investigators” under the law.
Private investigators can be found in all fifty States of America, though you would be hard pressed to find any more skilled than the private eyes in Las Vegas. Private detectives are also found nation-wide, but what exactly makes up a ‘private detective’ changes wildly from one state to the next.
In Las Vegas — and the whole of Nevada, actually — a “private investigator” is
any person who for any consideration engages in business or accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to make or makes any investigation for the purpose of obtaining, information with reference to:
1. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation or character of any person;
2. The location, disposition or recovery of lost or stolen property;
3. The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents or damage or injury to persons or to property;
4. Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer or investigating committee; or
5. The prevention, detection and removal of surreptitiously installed devices for eavesdropping or observation.
But with one major exception:
[excluding] a gaming licensee who maintains an employer-employee relationship with:
(a) A natural person to act as a customer or client of the gaming licensee to evaluate the service provided to actual customers or clients of the gaming licensee by its employees;
(b) A natural person to act as a customer or client of the gaming licensee to evaluate:
(1) The operational procedures of the gaming licensee;
(2) The cleanliness of the property of the gaming licensee; or
(3) The quality, availability and prices of the goods and services of the gaming licensee; or
(c) A business entity…to evaluate the operational procedures and methods of prevention and study used by the gaming licensee relating to the problems of gambling and the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors.
What that means to you, then, is that anyone referring to themselves as a “private investigator” in a legal sense isn’t working for any gambling-related enterprise – but a “private detective” might be. When you’re the client, you can be assured that you’re working with a Las Vegas private investigator, but if you’re being investigated by someone who calls themselves a “private detective”, then it’s likely someone who works for a business with a gaming license.