Trouble in Sin City: Protecting Sexy Workers' Civil Rights
36 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2011 Last revised: 15 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 9, 2011
While Las Vegas has always been known for its libertarian attitudes toward gambling and sexually provocative shows, after a short, failed attempt during the 1990’s to characterize itself as a family destination, the City has turned up the heat. Las Vegas, which relies increasingly on selling sex appeal to promote its value to the public, has become the number one adult entertainment destination in the United States. There is, however, trouble in paradise. A number of the casino-based clubs (both day and night) have been sued; others have closed due to illegal prostitution; some have paid large fines to the Nevada Gaming Control Board because of illegal activity; in others, police have arrested patrons for prostitution and illegal drugs.
This article examines the legal issues surrounding the hyper-sexualization of women workers in the casinos. It considers how federal, state and county law can protect these women without unduly interfering with the economic benefits to the casinos, the community, and the individual workers. The article gives special consideration to the role the state licensing agency – the Nevada Gaming Commission – should play in regulating sexual and/or sexualizing behavior that may be harmful to women employees. The article is relevant not only to Nevada casinos, however. Across the country, states are legalizing casino gambling and the casinos in other states are also attempting to offer highly sexualized environments. Thus, this article suggests a regulatory regime that would protect women in all states where casino gambling occurs in highly sexualized environments.
Keywords: Title VII, gaming, casinos, Las Vegas, Nevada Gaming Commission, women employees, nightclubs, sexualized environments
JEL Classification: J71, L82, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation