Uber Already Shut Down In Las Vegas

Filed Under: Travel

Earlier I posted about how Uber (more specifically UberX) finally launched in Las Vegas.


Las Vegas has one of the most corrupt taxi mafias out there. I mean, them blocking Uber aside, look at the complete lack of transportation options between McCarran Airport and The Strip. Even though they’re a mile apart, the only real way to get between the two is by taxi. Do you think that’s a coincidence, or because the taxi mafia is paying some people off?

Well, just hours after it launched, Uber has already been shut down in Las Vegas, through at least November 7, 2014.

Via Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Carson City District Judge James Russell blocked Uber from offering any rides in the state through at least Nov. 7. A hearing is set for Nov. 6.

The state’s attorney general sought the temporary order late Friday afternoon.

State and county taxi officers also were trying to stop the Uber drivers earlier in the day, but managed to do so on a much smaller scale.

On Friday afternoon, at least five drivers — four in Las Vegas and one in Reno — had been cited by regulators, according to Teri Williams, spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Business and Industry. Those drivers face fines of up to $10,000, Williams said.

They’re ticketing Uber drivers, but it goes beyond that. Apparently an UberX driver was surrounded by five unmarked taxicab authority vehicles and pulled over by two undercover officers in ski masks:

Uniformed officers were at the Fashion Show mall on the Strip late Friday to meet Uber driver Michael Elsner with a ticket.

Five unmarked white Nevada Taxicab Authority vehicles surrounded his blue Ford Focus as he was driving east on Fashion Show Drive about 3:30 p.m. He was pulled over while trying to drop off two passengers. Two undercover officers wore black ski masks.

Anyway, I am a bit puzzled by the entire situation. Did Uber actually get some sort of approval they didn’t have before when they launched yesterday, or did they just take the approach of “screw it, let’s give it a shot and start the long legal battle/process?”

I’m confident they’ll win long term. Corrupt lobbying groups can only suppress innovation for so long.

Does anyone have more insight into the Uber Las Vegas situation?

(Tip of the hat to @Panasenkova)

  1. hah as expected, clearly your blog killed this deal :{

    why did you have to post about Uber of all things, couldnt you use discretion for atleast one god forsaken thing 😀 lol

  2. As corrupt as taxi lobbies may be, Uber has 0 respect for local laws. They start operations knowing that they will be arrested or fined, and then people cry about it. No matter where in the world it is, it happens over and over again, and yet they keep getting writeups of how its somehow different.

  3. I don’t necessarily agree with how Uber ignores local laws but something needs to be done to the Las Vegas cab mafia and horrendous long hauling trick. A few months ago, I specifically gave my driver how to get to my hotel but he mentioned traffic and ignored my repeated requests all the way to the hotel. And this was late afternoon on Tue… Traffic. Really? He had no cab # or cab company info inside of the cab. I took a picture of his license plate and filed a claim to the taxi authority. I hope the driver got fined heavily.

  4. did they just take the approach of “screw it, let’s give it a shot and start the long legal battle/process?”——————–

    That’s the approach they have taken all along

    Even though they’re a mile apart, the only real way to get between the two is by taxi. ———

    There are also legitimate licensed insured car services

  5. “Corrupt lobbying groups can only suppress innovation for so long.”

    Lucky, I assume you’re getting complimentary wifi access, but are you getting Starpoints or Gold Passport Points for your stay under that rock? Surely you’ve seen what Congress has been up to over the past few years…

    @Travel Summary: Presumably they were called in as backup but didn’t want to show their faces in that neighborhood.

  6. I agree that cabs in Vegas are exteremly corrupt and the airport goes out of their way to promote cabs. I literally hate cabs (love uber). A few weeks ago we went to Vegas and took the bus from the airport to the SLS. It was a quick, cheap, and easy way to get to the hotel. Literally, it took me 15 minutes to find the bus stand at the airport. They went out of their way to hide it.

  7. I’m very pro Uber…. But just so you know…there’s a hotel shuttle that’s about $7 that goes to most of the hotels from LAS.

  8. And….to the people who are all butt-hurt about Uber’s lack of respect for local laws…or should I say “laws”…they are effectively nullifying those laws by ignoring them, whatever they are. They’re saying “These laws SUCK and make no sense and we’re going to shit right on them right here”.

    In my opinion that’s better than waiting to get to court and hoping for a jury nullification.

    We do this all the time, no? No blinker when changing lanes with nobody around… Speeding… Checking our mobile notifications at a light… People, get a spine and back the people who aren’t using lobby power to have laws written in their favor. Uber’s grabbing the industry by the balls and doing with it what we have all wanted for a long time….giving us some choice.

  9. As anyone who’s ever experienced the gridlock of traffic on the strip can tell you, there’s just too damn many vehicles on the streets. The obvious answer is to expand the monorail. The airport extension was supposed to have been completed by now, yet the last I checked, it wasn’t even started. Why? Because the taxi mafia is fighting the convenience as being inimical to its interests. Yet, the cabbies’ favorite topic is how bad business sucks. I’ve heard this from every cab driver that I’ve tried to make small talk with. So, if business sucks that bad, and there are that many taxis clogging up the streets, the obvious solution is to have less taxis. Just one problem: the taxi mafia. If they can get cops in ski masks to “apprehend” a single unarmed, and very presumably nonviolent person, surely they can crush a little honest competition. I’ve gotta say that anything that weakens the taxi mafia is pretty much good in my book. Doubly so if it benefits the public. Otherwise, aren’t we just looking at the Vegas of 50 years ago?

  10. This sounds like the kind of heavy handed crap the gestapo state of nevada would pull, guys in ski masks? Instead of going after scofflaw cab drivers they are going to harass people offering an alternative to cab drivers who are rude, do not speak english and long haul unsuspecting tourists

  11. @DJK Except companies like Uber and Air BnB are just as corrupt as other companies and they lobby governments all the time to get them to change laws that they don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the hostility to Uber/Lyft is to protect the taxi monopoly, but a lot of these regulations exist for a reason, particularly the ones that make a lot of AirBnB activity in major cities like NYC and (formerly, until AirBnB bought off some city councilmen to change the laws) SFO illegal.

  12. The monorail was deliberately designed to fail. By not including the airport. By not going down the center of the Strip where it could service hotels on both sides. By being buried in the nether regions. By not having a stop near the Sands Convention Center (Venetian area). An amazing number of critical errors. The taxi mafia forced that on them.

  13. I have yet (in 20+ trips to LAS) to have a cab not try to take me on the highway to get to my hotel on the strip unless I specifically tell them not to (I wait to see where they are going). This, Banning Uber and not having the monorail go to the airport should make it obvious to folks how corrupt the gov’t in Las Vegas is, at least in this regard.

    The people get a government it deserves.

  14. Uber’s business model of “asking forgiveness, not permission” is no way to run a business.

    But, I live in Vegas and HATE cabs.

    Try getting one to come to your house to take you to the airport.

  15. Same thing happened in Philly this weekend. Uber already operates here legally, but UberX was told they cannot (they say they can’t be regulated like taxis because, you know, private contractors, they’re not taxis, blah, blah BS). The PPA said they would shut them down. Uber went ahead. The PPA impounded the cars. The drivers all told the same story – Uber told them it was legal and all would be well.

  16. Seems like a pretty typical Uber behavior. They have leverage an enormous war chest and a huge distaste for cab companies as a way to get into a market regardless of local regulations.

  17. C’mon. All the protesting about ignoring local regulations is almost always because the local regulations are primarily there to protect local interests: cab owners, dispatch companies, the regulators and politicians who get donations from them

  18. The person who asks what’s with the ski masks is obviously so clueless, he or she must work for Uber. Those are undercover cops, morons. They are out there, and they are looking for all you pathetic Uber drivers, so they can impound your vehicles. Obviously they are not going to expose their faces to Uber criminals. I say right on cops! I hate Uber because they are typical amoral internet scammers. And I despise the suckers who fall for this. Why don’t you go give all your info to Google and Facebook while you are letting Uber rip you off, you silly retarded people? By the way, are you Obama supporters. Plouffe, the bagel-eater who is a top dog at Uber, was also the head of the Mr. Obama= Goldman-Sachs election campaign in 2008. When are you morons going to wake up? Anyone who works for Uber is being played like a sucker. Hey, come to think of it – maybe Vegas is the right place for you retards.

  19. Get off the monopoly!! The TA aka “5 Taxi Owners in Vegas” have refused to let anybody into the market for years. The locals are tired of being refused and abused by the Vegas taxi monopoly! These “5 Taxi Owners just raised rates again, now being the most expensive in the country, then claim its not that much to ride from the airport to the strip. But if you are a local going to Nellis or Summerlin, then be prepared to be robbed by the TA, because that’s what they will do to you every-time you ride in a taxi.

  20. I was born and raised in Vegas and have experienced the shit show they call”taxis”. What it all comes down to is this: the judges and whoever that are banning this totally LEGITIMATE company from vegas are getting paid up the ass to stop Uber. Who are they to say that Uber is not a good company? Almost EVERY OTHER state has it. All this looks like is, Las Vegas trying to make money off all the DUI’s. Clearly they don’t give a shit about the locals!

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