Prostitution in Nevada
History Back in 1977, county officials at Nye County attempted to shut down Walter Plankinton’s Chicken Ranch as a public nuisance; brothels did not have to be licensed in that county at the time, and several others were operating. Plankinton filed suit, asserting that the 1971 state law had removed the premise that brothels are public nuisances each se. The Nevada Supreme Court agreed with this interpretation in 1978, and so the Chicken Ranch was permitted to operate. In another circumstance, brothel owners in Lincoln County whined if the county outlawed prostitution in 1978, having issued licenses for seven decades.
On December 11, 2009, the Nevada State Board of Health unanimously agreed to add urethral examinations to the guidelines, thus allowing male sex workers to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Officials in Vegas, afraid that Conforte would utilize the identical technique to open a brothel nearby, convinced the legislature, in 1971, to pass a law prohibiting the legalization of prostitution in counties with a population above a specific threshold, tailored to apply only to Clark County.
Back in November 2005, former prostitute and madam Heidi Fleiss stated that she would associate with brothel owner Joe Richards to flip Richards’ present Cherry Patch Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nye County, Nevada in an establishment that could employ male prostitutes and cater exclusively to female clients, a first in Nevada. Back in 2009, however, she said that she had abandoned her plans to open this type of brothel due to wishing to avoid having to “deal with the nonsense from the sex industry” and preferring to concentrate on renewable energy which would be “ideal for Nevada.
That’s the wave of the future” While brothels and escorts are subject to federal income tax and pay local prices, Nevada has no state income taxation, and brothels are exempt from the state entertainment tax and don’t pay any state taxation. In 2005, brothel owners lobbied to be taxed so as to raise the legitimacy of the business, but the legislature diminished.
Brothels pay taxes to their respective counties. Lyon County receives roughly $400,000 to $500,000 each year from such taxes. Brothels have been allowed in Nevada because the middle of the 19th century. Back in 1937, a law was enacted to take weekly health checks of prostitutes. If this arrangement was lifted in 1948, Reno officials tried to shut down a brothel as a public nuisance; this activity has been upheld by the Nevada Supreme Court in 1949. In 1951, both Reno and Las Vegas had shut their red-light districts as public nuisances, but brothels continued to exist throughout the state.
Back in 1971, Joe Conforte, owner of a brothel named Mustang Ranch, near Reno, managed to persuade county officials to pass an ordinance that would provide for the licensing of brothels and prostitutes, thus avoiding the danger of being closed down as a general nuisance. Nevada is the sole U.S. state where prostitution is legally permitted in some kind. Strictly regulated brothels operate lawfully in mostly isolated rural locations, away in the majority of Nevada’s population.
However, prostitution is not legal in all of Nevada, and is prohibited in these counties: Clark (which comprises Las Vegas), Douglas, Eureka, Lincoln, Pershing and Washoe (which contains Reno). Prostitution is also illegal in Nevada’s capital, Carson City, an independent city. The remainder of Nevada’s counties have been allowed by state legislation to license brothels, but now only seven counties have busy brothels. A state law prohibiting the advertising of brothels in counties which have outlawed prostitution was enacted in 1979.
(Princess Sea Industries, one of the parties involved with the situation, was Plankinton’s firm that possessed the Chicken Ranch.) In July 2007, the law has been overturned with a U.S. District estimate as “overly broad”, and advertising in Las Vegas began shortly after.  In March 2010, the district judge’s conclusion was reversed back by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ACLU appealed to the full Ninth Circuit Court in March 2010. The ban on brothels advertising therefore remains in force. Despite there being a valid option, the vast majority of prostitution in Nevada occurs illegally in the metropolitan regions of Las Vegas and Reno. Approximately 66 times more money is spent by customers on prohibited prostitution in Nevada than in the controlled brothels. Some scholars have argued that Nevada’s brothels shouldn’t be regarded as aberrant or deviant, “but instead are part and parcel of today’s neoliberal consumer market… in which personal consumer choice is elevated to a moral right.