The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

August 29, 2013

Casino seeks to evict raunchy nightclub

LAS VEGAS — It turns out that even in Sin City, some sins are hard to overlook.

The Palazzo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip is trying to evict a 10-month-old nightclub for shows it says are so raunchy that they violate obscenity laws. It says actors — some nearly naked — toss condoms into the crowd and simulate sex acts and bestiality on stage.

The club is seeking a restraining order to halt the closure, arguing that simulated sex acts don’t constitute obscenity.

Casino officials “were well aware of our brand,” said Sean Dunn, special events director at The Act, in an email statement, adding that representatives of the hotel-casino have frequently attended shows and did not complain.

Las Vegas Sands, which owns the casino, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Act remains open for business while a district judge considers its fate, but the fight over its future has exposed an underlying reality in Vegas: While the city sells itself as a racy, no-holds-barred destination, there are limits.

“I think there’s the perception that anything goes in Vegas — there’s no boundaries, no lines,” said Lynn Comella, a professor of sexuality and women’s studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.”

That perception, in part, is fueled by what tourists see.

Trucks roll down Las Vegas Boulevard advertising “hot babes” delivered directly to hotel rooms, the phone book is full of come-ons for escorts and private dancers, and taxis and billboards feature scantily clad women who leave little to the imagination.

While Las Vegas is also rife with strip clubs, tourists won’t find them along the Strip or in the city’s hotel-casinos. They can take in a topless stage show or lounge at a European-style topless pool, but they have to catch a ride to a side street to see strippers.

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