Legalized prostitution in Vegas?

In the past year we’ve heard talk of lowering the gambling age to 18 and allowing strip clubs in Strip casinos. Now comes another trial balloon: legal prostitution in Las Vegas. From the LV Sun:

In these tough budgetary times, the chairman of a key state Senate committee is willing to consider the world’s oldest profession as a potential source of new tax revenue.

State Sen. Bob Coffin said Tuesday he would be willing to grant a hearing on proposals to legalize and regulate prostitution in Las Vegas and other urban areas of the state where it’s illegal.

The Las Vegas Democrat, who heads the Senate Taxation Committee, said he also wants to look at taxing the state’s legal brothels in rural counties.

Only “the most naive person on the planet would believe there’s no prostitution going on in the urban areas,” Coffin said. “It’s going on now unregulated and unsafe.

“I have not decided about whether or not I’d support the legalization and control of it in urban areas. But I think it’s an idea worth entertaining.”

Prostitution is legal in most of Nevada’s rural counties, but state law prohibits it in counties with populations in excess of 400,000. That means there are no legal brothels in Las Vegas or Reno.

Previous suggestions that Nevada consider legalizing prostitution throughout the state have gone nowhere. This is the first time in recent memory that a legislator has taken up this issue, but such a proposal would face long odds.

Coffin, who is serving his final term in the Senate because of term limits, said he will focus primarily on getting additional money from legal rural brothels, strip clubs and escort services.

“I’d be happy to listen to arguments for legalization anytime,” Coffin said. “In the meantime, I know we have to get some money from the world’s oldest profession.”

Senators ideas: Tax brothels, consider legalizing prostitution in Las Vegas – Las Vegas Sun.

I agree that it’s a topic that should be open to debate. But the pro-prostitution side must have a more compelling argument than, “People are already doing it.” People are doing lots of things that shouldn’t be legal.

Also, something just hit me: everyone always calls prostitution “the world’s oldest profession.” I don’t think that’s accurate or logically possible. In order for prostitutes to get paid, people have to have money. And they don’t have money unless they’re working at something…like a profession. Right? Ipso facto, prostitution cannot logically be the world’s oldest profession.

Sure, I guess you could run it on the barter basis, but then it’s not really a profession, is it?

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