Nevada considers brothel bans as legal pimp runs for office

PAHRUMP, Nev. (KUSI) — A state marketed as a place where people can indulge in all manner of sins is confronting its status as the only place in America where you can legally pay someone for sex.

A coalition of religious groups and anti-sex trafficking activists has launched referendums to ban brothels in two of the seven Nevada counties where they’re legally operating. The push to outlaw the industry dovetails with a campaign by the state’s most famous pimp for a seat in the state legislature.

Nevada, according to brothel owner Dennis Hof, was built “on gaming, liquor, girls and mining.”

“But there’s a shift occurring,” said Jason Guinasso, a Reno-based attorney involved with the effort to get the anti-brothel measures on the November ballot.

Hof, who has half a dozen brothels operating in the two counties and starred in the HBO adult reality series “Cathouse,” is challenging incumbent Assembly member James Oscarson of Pahrump in a Republican primary on Tuesday.

Hof said Nevadans are “rough-and-tumble, live-and-let-live” and “it’s awful that people would come in and try to change that culture, that they want to inflict their moral values on the rest of us.”

Brothels, which are illegal in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno, harken back to Nevada’s days as a mining territory about 150 years ago. Brothels were illegal but tolerated in some areas until 1971, when the Mustang Ranch near Reno became the first legal brothel.

It led to a movement that allowed counties with populations of 700,000 people or fewer to decide whether to legalize prostitution in licensed facilities. Outside of bordellos, prostitution remains illegal.

Today, there are about 20 brothels operating in the state, mostly in rural areas. The state doesn’t publicize how many are open, and most owners keep a much lower profile than Hof, who wrote a book titled “The Art of the Pimp,” and has dubbed himself the “Trump of Pahrump”.

 

 

 

 

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