Bill to change nude dancing age restriction declared dead

CARSON CITY — A bill to prevent entertainers ages 18 to 20 from dancing nude in Nevada strip clubs will die without a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, its chairman said Thursday.

Chairman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said he made an “administrative decision” not to have a vote on Senate Bill 413. Many bills, including that one sought by Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, automatically die Friday unless they are approved by a committee.

The bill would have repealed a state law that allows dancers ages 18 to 21 to dance nude in adult entertainment clubs if alcohol is not served.

Many clubs prefer to serve liquor, and their dancers are 21 or older. Others serve nonalcoholic beverages and employ 18-year-olds.

Under the bill, a minimum age of 21 would be required for a dancer to work at any club.

During hearings, Metropolitan Police Department lobbyists testified for the bill, contending that pimps often frequent the clubs to recruit prostitutes. There are 27 strip clubs in Clark County.

Segerblom cited constitutional problems with the bill because it would deny the dancers a right to freedom of expression and to earn a living.

Despite the failure of SB413, Cegavske said she was not giving up on a ban on nude dancing by minors. She will try to get local governments to prohibit the practice.

While she acknowledged her opposition is partly for moral reasons, she is most concerned about the “inconsistency in the law.” She said girls 18 to 21 can dance completely naked at “juice bars” where nonalcoholic beverages are sold, but topless dancing is allowed only for dancers 21 and older at clubs that serve alcohol.

“I am not sure that many people know that,” Cegavske said.

Because some girls 14 or 15 look older than their ages, she said, they might be able to get fake IDs to work in the all-nude clubs but probably don’t look 21, so they cannot work in topless bars.

“I am not giving up,” she said.

The bill would not have dealt with legal prostitutes at brothels. Some of them are as young as 18, and brothels have bars.

Cegavske said brothels are regulated by the counties, and she wishes they would raise the minimum age to 21.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.