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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Councilman/Cop sponsors an ordinance to require
a Nevada State License for all "therapists" seeking
jobs in Las Vegas' neighborhood massage parlors

Is It Too Little...Too Late?

SEXUAL MASSAGE?    No reference to Nevada State Lic. #:
                                 Click on Century Link Yellow Page ad to enlarge

"NON-SEXUAL" MASSAGE.    Nevada State Lic. # prominently listed:
                                    Click on Century Link Yellow Page ad to enlarge

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 14, 2011

LAS VEGAS - On Tuesday, November 15, Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem and former Metro PD Vice Officer Stavros Anthony will propose an update to the Las Vegas Municipal Code to require state licenses and county health cards for new massage therapists working outcall or in neighborhood shopping centers. His ordinance will require that all new applicants who wish to perform massage in hotel rooms or shopping centers obtain, possess, carry, or display a license issued by the Nevada Board of Massage Therapists.

The ordinance, if passed, is expected to slow down the human sex slave trafficking that reportedly brings hundreds of young Asian girls to Las Vegas to perform sexual services in strip malls often within feet of our schools, fast food restaurants, child care centers, and playgrounds.

           Massage parlors located along West Sahara Ave. within the city of Las Vegas

Most taxi drivers will tell you that the majority of neighborhood massage parlors are fronts for prostitution. Many parlors and outcall services offer male patrons what is called a "Happy Ending," or in some cases a "Full Girlfriend Experience" for an extra fee. These specialties are not taught in accredited massage therapy schools.

Imagine the outcry if the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology ignored hundreds of beauty parlors employing unlicensed beauticians without health cards, or if the Nevada State Barbers’ Health and Sanitation Board ignored hundreds of barber shops employing unlicensed barbers without health cards! How long would the Governor sit back and allow these state boards to issue Nevada licenses based on certificates from out of state certificate mills? Well, that's exactly what he's now doing with the Nevada Board of Massage Therapists!

In 2007, I interviewed Lisa O. Cooper the Executive Director of the Nevada Board of Massage Therapists while she was attending a UNLV forum on the sex industry.

Asked why her agency does not police neighborhood massage parlors and outcall services, Cooper became defensive and nervously explained that the “massage therapists” employed at the hundreds of neighborhood massage parlors and outcall services do not need Nevada state certificates as long as they have a certificate of completion from an out of state massage school such as "Select Therapy Institute, Rosemead, California," a business she voluntarily mentioned.

I told Cooper that all massage therapists working in Strip hotel spas are required to have their Nevada Board of Massage Therapists license on public display, and asked her what is the difference between a spa in a hotel and a spa in a neighborhood shopping center where a Nevada state license is not required?

Ms. Cooper refused to answer the question, and ended the interview.

It was later discovered that the California school Cooper named was a scam when her Board of Directors issued the following notice warning that persons presenting a certificate from such schools "going forward" from August 29, 2011 will be denied a license to practice in Nevada. However, hundreds of people have already been granted Nevada permits based on certificates they purchased from these schools prior to the Notice being issued, and those women may continue with little or no supervision to provide "Happy Endings" in Strip hotel rooms and neighborhood massage parlors even after the passage of Councilman Anthony's ordinance.

On March 20, 2006, I wrote an INSIDE VEGAS column entitled "Las Vegas is the end of the road in the sex slave trade." It drew international attention.

In the column I stated: "The road starts in the jungles of Southeast Asia and ends on Sahara Avenue in the city limits of Las Vegas. The cargo? Young Asian women and children unknowingly spirited away from their families to become sex slaves in the back rooms of Sin City massage parlors or clandestine private residences.

Little is written or said of this enterprise in our 'What happens here, stays here' city, but such activity can only happen in a place that's ripe with corruption. Also, little happens in this town without the full consent of our major industry; casinos, and the sex-slave trade is no exception. Sex draws tourists, and the closer it is to the hotels, the better. Casinos want to keep their players close at hand, not traipsing off to the next county (to licensed brothels).

Just drive west on Sahara Ave., or turn north off Sahara onto Paradise Road to see the final product of this long road of shame: Massage Parlors with tantalizing names. Or thumb through the Yellow Pages between page 847 and 962 and you'll find every brand of sexual enticement known to man, but consistently overlooked by local law enforcement and city licensing officials."

It is anticipated that prior to the LV City Council voting on Councilman Anthony's law, the owners of massage parlors and outcall massage services will hire expensive attorneys and lobbyists to try to protect their highly profitable enterprises. But Anthony's experience as a police captain in charge of the vice squad is expected to surface, and the attorneys may be about to meet their match if they choose to tangle with the very popular Councilman/Cop (left).

A local casino executive who requested anonymity told INSIDE VEGAS that the casinos, to discourage gamblers from traveling to legal brothels hours away in Nye County, tolerate nearby massage parlors and outcall services that provide a quick sexual experience, thereby encouraging gamblers to return to the tables within an hour or so of leaving the casino.

A licensed massage therapist who manages a spa located in a major Strip hotel told INSIDE VEGAS that he was required to attend over seven months of classes at an accredited massage therapy school and pay tuition of over $10,000 to obtain his Nevada state license. He also described the harsh penalties he would suffer if his spa hired therapists who did not possess current state licenses. The therapist was astonished when told that most employees of neighborhood massage parlors and outcall services are unlicensed, and that state authorities have so far taken no action.

Councilman Anthony has his work cut out if he wants to require future "Happy Ending" providers to spend seven months in an accredited massge therapy school. But he does have plenty of evidence to support the passage of his law if he references the Yellow Page ads that offer sections delineating between alleged sexual and non-sexual massage businesses, and if he references the Nevada Board of Massage Therapists list of phony massage therapy schools they once gladly accepted certificates from!

Unfortunately, the massage therapists state board and Ms. Cooper obviously have no intention of acting retroactively based on their "going forward" statement, so hundreds, possibly thousands of questionably licensed masseuses without health cards will keep their jobs. And it's not known whether the state massage board or county health department will have the financial resources to hire additional field inspectors to police the shopping center massage parlors and outcall service providers within the city of Las Vegas. So it will be up to the City Attorney to enforce the new ordinance within his jurisdiction, at least until the illicit businesses move across the city-county line.

Sadly, it's too little, too late because there are already hundreds of massage parlors and outcall services operating outside the Las Vegas city limits. But Tuesday's city hall discussion is the first step to try to curtail the underground sex activity happening within the city limits so close to where our families live, eat, shop, and play.

And if certain casino barons really wanted the massage-sex business shut down, it would have happened long ago. But if it's true that they consider the massage-sex industry a non event as many locals suspect, why don't they just hire the unlicensed masseuses to give sexual favors in their own hotel rooms and spas, and do Las Vegas citizens a favor by getting the scourge out of our neighborhoods? The casino barons certainly have the political clout to get away with it!

How the new LV Mayor and her City Council handle the anticipated political pressure to kill the ordinance will reveal the city government's true mettle. And will Clark County and the cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas follow Councilman Anthony's lead?

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