Rapper Banned From Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. He Blames Race, Hotel Basically Admits It, Apologizes

Earlier in the week I wrote about rapper Meek Mill being denied entry to the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas. He claimed he hadn’t ever had any altercations at the property and that he’s only ever been there one time — “with Nicki Minaj for a Jay-Z event 5 years ago.”

The Philadelphia-born musician’s attorney sent a demand letter to the hotel which claimed “that the Cosmopolitan maintains a list of African American recording artists who should be denied access for no other reason than than their culture and skin color.” They asked only for an apology and access to the property.

The hotel seemed to be leaking claims that Meek was banned from the property because of a prior fight there.

Here’s video of the African American rapper being denied access to the hotel:

Several commenters were skeptical of the Meek Mill’s claims. Well, the Cosmopolitan has now apologized — and acknowledged there were no past incidents which were the basis of his denial of access to the property. They don’t explain why he was banned from entering, instead only saying they won’t tolerate discrimination.

For those who didn’t believe the original story when I covered it, it seemed important to close the loop with the hotel’s admission that they had no basis to ban the recording artist from the property and has apologized.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m glad they apologized, otherwise I would have had to find a new favorite Vegas property to stay at. I love The Cosmo, but they were wrong for this. They gave 2 different flimsy excuses that had no weight. If Meek and his attorney didn’t stay on this, people would have sided with the hotel in the eyes of public opinion. Meek would have just been viewed as another one making trouble and playing “the race card”.

  2. I hope all those championing the hotel doing this will come on this site and apologize as well. Cause they sure sounded a little racist as well.

  3. The racists are the first ppl to jump up and defend the hotel. Its the Trump line of “many people are saying…”

  4. @Bratty

    Exactly! As I noted at the time, there are, in fact, shared lists of banned guests. It’s entirely possible Meek Mill is on this list for poor behavior somewhere else, but that’s not necessarily the what happened and the hotel’s initial response that there’d be a specific incident AT that property was a lie. Whether they told that lie because they wanted to deny that they subscribe to a list or because they’re genuinely racist or, more likely, because an employee or group of employees is racist and/or incompetent is unclear.

    As a straight white male, I’ll (hopefully) never experience the daily institutional, passive, and active racism that people of color, especially black Americans, encounter. But, in my 50 years on the planet, I’ve seen enough, heard enough, and, embarrassingly, practiced enough racism to know it exists and that those who further it need to be held to account.

    This seems like a good start on that last part.

  5. Where all the mouth-foam trump apologists now? You all sure were quick to be critical of Meek’s reaction and now we see you have all dissappeared like farts in the wind.

  6. @Brian I’m a trump apologist and I’m here.

    Congrats on Meek Mills for coming back to the Cosmo.

    Sorry for assuming Meek was in the wrong after hearing false claims of racism by Jussie, Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville, the college students across diff campuses, NFL players, Barack Obama (remember that Boston cop?) and anyone who accused the Covington high school kid of racism, and on and on and…

    So.. do you rabid never-Trumpers all want an award for playing the race card correctly for once? Don’t hold your breath.

  7. Glad to see Cosmo step you and do the right thing. Also, saw that Meek dropped his lawsuit with the apology and welcome from Cosmo. He could have still pushed it (and likely won) so good move on both their parts.

    My suspicion, as a long time Vegas visitor, is that it was a security guard gone rouge or with a bias against (you pick) blacks, rappers, etc. These rent a cops think the world revolves around them and they use the Nevada rules (which don’t apply at casinos in most other states) that patrons are there solely at the invitation of the casino and the casino can refuse admission (or demand they leave) for any reason. Love Las Vegas but the old-school rules that the casino is always right gets them in trouble and there have been quite a few large settlements when casino security went too far.

    Glad to see this resolved. IMHO, the only reasons to 86 someone from a casino is a major offense like caught cheating (usually end up in jail in Nevada for that one) or inappropriate behavior (fight, sexual harrasment, etc.). This never sounded right and good to see Cosmo apology. Also, knowing Las Vegas, that security guard has been fired and likely blackballed from working security at any other casino in town.

  8. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see anything that remotely says that the hotels basically admits to racism. I despise racism, so I’m certainly not saying that the hotel was right, either in what they did or the way they handled things. I’d really like to know more. As I said in the linked post, lots of musicians act like tools and are justifiably banned from places because of that behavior. As mallthus pointed out in the linked post and above, hotels obviously share lists of banned people, so the banned person can’t just jump from one hotel to another.
    The only real question here for me was whether the hotel can justify not allowing the guy inside. They said they don’t tolerate racism. Fine, then explain what was going on. I’m willing (within reason) to cut the hotel enough slack to let them explain, but that’s about the limit of my forbearance. Without that, the hotel looks guilty anyway, so they might consider alternative courses of action. Without that, Gary is right.

  9. @Gary-That last line came out much more rudely than intended. No offense was meant toward you.

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