The OTHER Las VegasOctober 1, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
While county officials and gaming regulators continue to circle Las Vegas Boulevard nightclubs and pool decks, city officials are getting into the act, going after two lesser-known haunts on turf regulated by the city. For the uninformed, Vegas’ famous Strip is actually county land, while City Hall reigns over Fremont Street and other surrounding areas.
First, Snick’s Place, one of the city’s oldest alternative nightlife establishments, which opened in 1976, was closed for two weeks and hit with a $15,000 fine after investigators determined that nudity, oral sex and intercourse was being allowed to take place within the venue. It’s not Snick’s first run-in with the law; the club lost its license for six months last year after Nevada Gaming Control slapped owner Dominick Vitale with a $50,000 fine, although the city was never made aware of the criminal activity. Council members urged a stronger penalty but relented when Vitale added that he had fired employees responsible and was still under surveillance by Gaming Control for another two years.
Also fined was downtown venue Club 2100, which was found to have partially naked women working in the venue and had an online advertising campaign that promoted live, adult-style entertainment, which is a violation of the venue’s liquor license. Owner Dominic Laino appeared in front of the council and claimed he wasn’t aware of any advertising or what was taking place within the venue. The board hit him with $10,000 fine and agreed to review the case in 90 days.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman stated: “We are very adamant about this. We want to know when there are allegations of misconduct taking place within the city of Las Vegas so we can act.” Whether any of this is spurred by the ongoing investigations on The Strip, it wouldn’t be the first time hizzoner has made a play for media attention (he even played himself in the Hollywood mob homage “Casino”). It’s also somewhat amusing that Gaming Control failed to notify the city after busting a venue on its home turf. Here’s hoping all parties can work together in the future to go after venues violating county, state or federal laws and don’t get caught up with the inner workings of multimillion-dollar nightclubs. Clark Country License Department’s recent talk of banning stripper poles in nightclubs would be a prime example.