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HEALTH & SAFETY: LAWS

Gambling

You must be 21 to gamble or enter a casino - if you look young carry ID with you.

Children are permitted in the public walkway areas of casinos but are not allowed to be near slot machines or gaming tables

Liquor

You must be 21 to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages

Alcohol is sold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

You are not allowed to carry open containers on the street except on Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip) and on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas

Prostitution

No matter what that guy at work tells you, prostitution is not legal in Las Vegas nor is it legal in any county in the state that has a population of more than 400,000 people. That limits it to 10 mostly rural counties with the closest to Vegas being Nye County, about 60 miles east of the city. So all those ads you see in the free papers, those flyers being handed out by people on the street, and those giant trucks cruising The Strip all advertising "hot babes" that will come to your room are advertising "escort services," which tramples the edges of legality by suggesting that the hot babes in question are merely coming to your room for conversation. If something more than that happens and money is exchanged for it, you are breaking the law. The same obviously also goes for street walkers or people who may approach you in clubs or the casinos looking for "a good time."

By the way, if you don't think the latter happens, here's a little story. I was in a major casino playing a slot machine when a nice looking but older woman, probably in her 50s or so, came up to me and started chatting about how the slots weren't doing too well. Talking to me while I'm gambling is never a good thing, but I was polite and smiled and nodded and replied with answers as short as possible. Then she said, "So... I was wondering if you'd be interested in a little adult companionship." I was taken aback, to say the least, and all I could do was laugh and say "Sorry, honey, but you're barking up the wrong tree." Afterward I was trying to figure out what it was about me that made me appear to be the type of person who would need to pay for sex and that I might be interested in a 50 year old woman, but I decided to let that particular line of inquiry go because no good would come of it.

Anyway, so prostitution of any form is illegal in Las Vegas and all of Clark County.

Once you get into those rural counties, prostitution is legal but only in brothels that are highly regulated. There a couple of dozen of them across the state and they all operate in more or less the same fashion. You go in, the women line up, you pick one, and then you negotiate a fee for whatever you are there to do. Prices usually start at around $200 and go up accordingly (no pun intended). All of the workers in the brothels are required to get weekly STD checks and monthly tests for more serious things like HIV. Condoms must be used for all forms of intercourse.

I say women above because most of the prostitutes in the legal brothels are female. Although male prostitutes are legal as of 2009, there are few of them. Most female and male workers are there for the opposite sex but they are allowed to engage in same-sex activity as long as it follows the same safety precautions.

If any of this interests you, simply Google Nevada Brothels and you will find all sorts of websites that can give you more information.

Smoking

Smoking is illegal in all indoor spaces except for the major casino floors, hotel rooms that are designated for smoking, and bars or nightclubs that do not serve food. Smoking in hotel lobbies, shopping malls, restaurants, and any other indoor public space (such as hallways to and from the casino) is forbidden.

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