Nevada lawmaker proposes Vegas brothels

Feb. 6, 2009 at 4:11 PM

RENO, Nev., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Nevada state Sen. Bob Coffin says his state should make brothels legal statewide and tax them to help wipe out a $2 billion budget shortfall.

Nevada is the only U.S. state with legalized prostitution, but brothels are only allowed in rural counties and pay county taxes only. Coffin proposes that prostitution be decriminalized and that the state get a cut of their revenues, ABC reported Friday.

"People are licensed to gamble," said Coffin, a Democrat. "They are licensed to sell cigarettes. They are licensed to sell alcohol. Why not license everything we consider a vice?"

Coffin said by allowing brothels to open up in Las Vegas, Reno and other cities, the state could reap up to $200 million a year in taxes to apply toward the budget shortfall.

Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch licensed brothel, told ABC he is a big fan of the prostitution legalization and taxing proposal.

"I think they are right on the money. I'm glad they're doing it, because prostitution is everywhere in Las Vegas under the guise of escort agencies," Hof said.

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