O.J. Simpson Banned from Cosmopolitan on Las Vegas Strip

OJ Simpson Las Vegas Casino Ban

News reports suggested Station Casinos would ban OJ Simpson, too, but that has not happened yet.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel, a Las Vegas Strip casino-resort, banned O.J. Simpson from its premises this week. There are conflicting reports about the kind of behavior Simpson exhibited to earn a ban from the Cosmopolitan, which is owned by the Blackstone Group.

After the incident, US Magazine, TMZ, and a local Las Vegas ABC news affiliate each provides varying accounts of what happened. So did OJ Simpson’s lawyer. As always, the version that a person believes depends on ones viewpoint towards O.J. Simpson himself.

The Cosmopolitan ban came at a time when rumors were swirling that Station Casinos would ban O.J. Simpson from their various casinos in-and-around Las Vegas. It was at Palace Station, one of the Station Casinos, that the 2007 robbery occurred which landed Simpson in a Nevada prison for 9 years.

Malcolm LaVergne on Cosmopolitan Hotel Ban

Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, told the Associated Press that Simpson had received a “trespass notice” from the Cosmopolitan on Wednesday. LaVergne denied to the AP that his client was either intoxicated or belligerent while at the Cosmopolitan.

LaVerge added that OJ Simpson was not given a reason for the ban. He added that Simpson visited his parole officer on Thursday to undergo drug and alcohol tests. The results of those tests were negative. When contacted, the Cosmopolitan said it does not comment on customers.

O.J. Simpson’s Parole

O.J. Simpson received parole last month from Nevada prison, after serving a 9-year sentence for armed robbery and assault with a weapon. The convinction resulted from an ill-fated attempt to retrieve memorabilia from a former associate, who happened to be the Palace Station casino. Simpson recruited guests at a wedding in the hotel to conduct a shakedown of the memorabilia vendor.

The former NFL superstar now lives in a gated community in Las Vegas. The Cosmopolitan ban spurred a variety of entertainment and tabloid publication to dig into the story of Wednesday’s incident.

3 Versions of the Incident

US Magazine quoted a source who saw the incident, who said, “It wasn’t the biggest scuffle, but he did cause a scene and it was clear to everyone around him that he was very intoxicated.”

The KABC Las Vegas tv station contradicted the report from US Magazine. KABC quoted another witness to the scene that said OJ Simpson’s guests were drinking wine, but he abstained from drinking any alcohol while at the Cosmopolitan’s bar.

TMZ gave a third version of the incident, which balanced between the accounts by US Magazine and KABC News. TMZ reported, “We’re told Simpson was angry at hotel staff and glasses broke at the bar. Security showed up and removed Simpson from the hotel. We’re told Simpson was nice to responding security guards.”

O.J. Simpson Biography

O.J. Simpson became nationally famous in 1968, when he won the Heismann Trophy as a star running back for the National Champion USC Trojans. He was drafted onto the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League, where he starred from 1969 to 1977. In those years, OJ Simpson became the first NFL player to rush for 2000 yards, while posting the best yards-per-game average in NFL history (143.1 ypg). He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for the 1978 and 1979 seasons, but retired after a pair of lackluster years back on the West Coast.

From 1975 onward, OJ Simpson became the first African-American athlete to achieve mainstream success as a commercial endorser. He became the longtime spokesman for Hertz Rent-a-Car, while maintaining long relationships with Chevrolet and ABC. He endorsed everything from HoneyBaked Ham to Napa Naturals soft drinks to Dingo cowboy boots.

Acting and Commercial Endorsements

After his career was over, OJ Simpson also went into acting. He acted in movies like The Towering Inferno (1974) and Capricorn One (1978), but found his greatest success as ‘Norbert’ in the Naked Gun Trilogy of movies. He also appeared as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football and The NFL on NBC. He made occasional appearances on other programs, hosting Saturday Night Live twice.

O.J. Simpson’s celebrity status brought massive attention when he became the primary suspect in the murder of his ex-wife. Nicole Brown Simpson was brutally murdered while entering her home with Ronald Goldman, a twenty-something waiter in a posh LA-area restaurant. Goldman was murdered in the same way, leading tabloid news to speculate OJ Simpson had committed the act in a fit of jealous rage.

Trial of the Century

Throughout 1994 and early 1995, events like White Bronco chase, the surreal press conference by Robert Kardashian, the Dream Team of lawyers who defended Simpson (Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran, F Lee Bayley), and the months-long ‘Trial of the Century’ on Court TV produced a seminal cultural event in America. The trial made prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, Judge Lance Ito, investigator Mark Fuhrman, and even witness Kato Kaelin famous in the media.

Coming a year after the controversial Rodney King verdict and subsequent LA riots, the trial of OJ Simpson was a rare transcendant media moment. Whole tabloid and news programs launched based on the trial, while comedians had a field day with the story. When the verdict came back “Not Guilty”, America was stunned. America also was divided along racial lines on their opinions of that decision.

OJ Simpson: After Acquittal

After the trial, OJ Simpson disappeared from the public light, resurfacing occasionally. His manic call-in to Larry King Live was panned, while the news he was planning to release a book called “If I Did It” horrified many Americans. When he was convicted in the Las Vegas case, many people saw it as karmic justice. Others saw it as double indemnity — that OJ Simpson was being punished for being acquitted 13 years prior.

The Cosmopolitan ban is a sign that the OJ Simpson story might not be complete. One can hope that it was a misunderstanding, but Las Vegas casinos beyond the Blackstone Group and Station Casinos might be considering a ban.