18 Year Old Strippers in Vegas Bars
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 2, 2003
In August 2002, Clark County Nevada, the county in which Las Vegas is
located, passed a series of new laws that included one to ban the employment
of teenagers as strippers in topless bars. However, because the city of
Las Vegas is a separate municipality within the county and is governed
by a different set of rules, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman ignored pleas
from police and county officials to adapt a uniform code.
When asked about the current city code regarding teenagers stripping
in topless bars, Mayor Goodman said, "Our ordinance is perfect." The Mayor
also made the following amazing statements:
"There's no prostitution taking place, and if there was, they should arrest
them, not make some big fuss as to what some 18-year-old girl is doing
to make a living." "I think anything that's legal should be here," said
He made these statements in the face of numerous front page stories
and media reports describing beatings, prostitution, robberies, and a wrongful
death at one of the city's foremost
topless bars, a bar that does not share a sister bar in the county
and therefore stands to benefit the most from the county's new ordinance.
Lets take at look at the laws Goodman calls "perfect" and see if they
allow teenagers to hustle champagne and lap dances in the lounge seating
area, or go behind closed doors in private VIP rooms in our city’s topless
Las Vegas Municipal Code--6.35.100--Erotic dance establishment regulations
"(E) No patron under the age of twenty-one shall be admitted to an alcoholic
erotic dance establishment. (H) Dancing shall take place within an area
which is visible immediately upon entrance to the establishment premises….
Dance areas must not be obscured by any curtain or door that restricts
view from one of the above-described areas. Patrons will not be allowed
to enter private rooms with dancers. (I) No dancer shall fondle or caress
any patron, and no patron shall fondle or caress any dancer."
Every VIP room in the city is "private," has doors, and allows patrons
to enter with teenage dancers. This recently written law indicates that
such rooms are in direct violation of 6.35.100.
Then there’s Las Vegas Municipal Code-10.56.010--Saloons and similar
"It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one years
to visit, frequent, be present in or loiter around any saloon, gambling
house, barroom, cigar store or house of ill fame; provided, however, that
a minor or minors under proper adult supervision may entertain or perform
in lounges upon the securing of a permit from the Sheriff of the Metropolitan
Police Department or his designee. Said permit shall allow a minor or minors
in such lounge only while in the act of entertaining or performing in the
presence of said adult supervisor."
This is the main law that the city clubs most rely on to protect their
"right" to have teen strippers. It was written in 1911 when prostitution
was legal in Las Vegas. It requires that after a minor stops "entertaining"
or "performing," they must leave the "lounge." Today, teens are illegally
required by club owners to solicit drinks and lap dances from patrons in
the lounge area. Teens certainly cannot be considered as "entertaining"
or "performing" when they are hustling money off-stage in open violation
of LVMC 10.56.010. Furthermore, who are these "adult supervisors" who let
teens mingle with the crowd - then vanish into the VIP room? Perhaps, this
law is "perfect" because it is so antiquated that it stopped being enforced
in the city limits decades ago.
Then there is state law NRS 202.060 - Saloonkeeper allowing minor to
remain in establishment:
"Any proprietor, keeper or manager of a saloon or resort where spirituous,
malt or fermented liquors or wines are sold, who shall, knowingly, allow
or permit any person under the age of 21 years to remain therein shall
be punished by a fine of not more than $500."
When saloonkeepers allow teenage strippers to step down from the stage,
"remain" in the establishment where alcohol is being sold and solicit sale
of drinks or a lap dance, this law is also being violated.
"We're an adult community, an adult playland," Goodman said. "Let's
not pretend to be something we're not."
We’re not a city of lawlessness. To do what he proposes violates existing
Then the Mayor
said, "When you're 18, you're allowed to die for your country, so why
can't some young lady or young man perform?"
Good point, but why are 18 year old males prohibited from sitting in
the audience? If he feels so strongly about their rights, then shouldn't
all 18 years olds should be allowed in topless bars whether they
strip or not? His proposal discriminates against underage males who would
like to sit at the bar and see 18 year old girls "perform." You can't have
it both ways!
AGE is the ONLY issue I am concerned with. The current city laws make
it perfectly clear that teenage dancers are (1) not allowed behind closed
doors with patrons, and (2) not allowed to mingle with the crowd (loiter)
to solicit lap dances and sell champagne after they leave the stage. The
"perfect" law either needs to be drastically changed to accommodate minors,
or the prohibition against VIP rooms needs to be enforced.
Under existing Nevada city, county, and state laws, teenagers presently
have no place in topless and bottomless bars hustling drinks or trying
to "make a living" in VIP rooms behind closed doors. Even without the laws,
our youth deserve better during their formative years..
Mayor Goodman should either change ALL the laws, or enforce the existing
ones equally between the city and county - period! To not do so is an invitation
for a Writ of Mandamus to compel the City of Las Vegas to enforce its own
ordinances. If a motion for a Writ of Mandamus is filed, taxpayers should
not be forced to pay expensive private attorneys to defend Mayor Goodman's
friends in the trade.
No wonder they call this Sin City!
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com