Sunday, October 21, 2007

Las Vegas

The city supports itself on gambling, entertainment, commercial sex and the sale of luxury goods--none of which I am a customer for. Nonetheless I enjoy it, at least in short doses. It reminds me of the story of the 1920's Hollywood director who, after being shown around the lavish set created for a biblical epic, remarked that it just showed what God could have done, if he had the money.


At 1:57 PM, October 21, 2007, Blogger John Kindley said...

Hi Dave! I liked Las Vegas a lot more after my first trip there in 2006, when I won close to $18k at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker after winning a free seat online. I also play D&D online, but it's getting old. I understand you're partial to WoW? Maybe that's got more going for it. I also have a new blog,, and your Machinery of Freedom has of course made its way into a post there, and is linked in my recommended reading section. I also found helpful your comments on a Mises blog post a while back on geolibertarianism, your father's take on the Georgist "single-tax," and Murray Rothbard's propensity to mischaracterize the positions of those with whom he disagreed.

At 2:24 PM, October 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't "commercial sex" illegal in Las Vegas? My understanding was that it was legal in the rest of Nevada, but not in Clark County.

I could be wrong.

At 4:09 PM, October 21, 2007, Blogger David Friedman said...

"Isn't "commercial sex" illegal in Las Vegas?"

De jure yes, de facto no.

There are trucks driving around with signs on them offering to provide a girl in twenty minutes. I was handed some cards, each of which had a picture of a mostly naked girl, a price ($38), and the following text:

"24/7 365 Friendly, Fun & Frisky Girls of your choice direct to you in 15 min. Specializing in two girl fantasies, one on one pleasures, Bachelor Parties."

Followed by a phone number, then "Licensed outcall service Satisfaxxxion Guaranteed"

No doubt there is some cover story, but it's hard to imagine anyone believes it.

At 11:30 AM, October 22, 2007, Blogger Hernan Coronel said...

Hey! I just returned from Las Vegas and I must agree. I am no customer as you said but I really liked it. Isn't it strange?

At 1:36 PM, October 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember having a great time 15 years ago in Vegas, as a kid... I wasn't a customer for sex or gambling (aka Blackjack & Hookers) but I definitely enjoyed all the rest, theme park looking hotels, very cheap food in casinos, magicians in the street... all paid for by products and services I would not buy :)
Maybe Vegas can be fun *because* you don't consume anything.

At 3:51 PM, October 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you serious you are not even a consumer of "entertainment"? That's kinda hard to believe.

At 4:50 PM, October 22, 2007, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous asks:

"Are you serious you are not even a consumer of "entertainment"?"

I'm not a consumer of the sort of entertainment in which Las Vegas specializes. For one thing, I wouldn't get the jokes.

There are probably exceptions--but not many. Of the several times I've visited it, I don't think I have ever bought tickets for any sort of show.

At 8:52 PM, October 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! I thought for a minute the "commercial sex" thing was a sideways reference to our state legislature. And you coming from California!

At 12:36 AM, October 23, 2007, Blogger David Friedman said...

I missed this first time around:

Anonymous says, about prostitution:

"My understanding was that it was legal in the rest of Nevada, but not in Clark County."

It's more complicated. State law permits any county with a population of less than 400,000 to license brothels if it wishes to. That rules out the counties containing Reno and Las Vegas.

According to the Wikipedia article, there are three other counties which ban prostitution, one more which doesn't license any brothels, eleven which do.

At 4:38 AM, November 03, 2007, Blogger montestruc said...


"Isn't "commercial sex" illegal in Las Vegas? My understanding was that it was legal in the rest of Nevada, but not in Clark County."

I do not know about los vegas, but I do know that many US cities have defacto legalized regulated and taxed (payoffs to vice squad) prostitution like Houston and New Orleans, were free publications given out in gentlemen's clubs (strip bars) advertized brothals in all but name, and individual services and girls giving menues and price lists.

Further that thease people stay in business for years at a time in the same location advertized in these publications.

Sorry, that is de facto legalization.

Yes I am aware that per the state and city laws on the books they are illegal, but what laws are enforced and how is what matters.

At 12:42 AM, July 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:28 PM, July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David, I wanted to coin in on the conversation if you don't mind.

Prostitution is illegal in clark county however, you can get what's called a outcall entertainment license... another term for escort agency licensing. Their is actually a standard escort license but the city has only issued it once and the company was shut down quite quickly, it's been over 45 years since they've issued a license. So, agencies are now in the business of outcall entertainment; what's legal, stripping, dancing, lap dancing in the room etc. NO SEX... um.. no sex bu yet these girls get paid based on tips. Montestruc mentioned the cards on the strip, the cards are just baiting material, they have these passers on the strip that hand out thousands of these cards a day and from what I'm told the agency gets to keep 200 service charge and what ever the girl makes in tips she would split that on some type of percentage basis with the phone girl who took the call for the agency. I know way to much right! That's what happens when your brother is in Vice for LAPD. IT's big business out here, always has been an I guess always will be, I've been told that most of the business is now coming from the net instead of the strip like the good old days, for instance if you do a search for Las Vegas Escorts these two sites come up and both I'm sure making more money than I am... doing [cough cough] outdoor entertainment!

At 2:46 AM, August 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vegas is definitely better in small doses, the odd weekend now and again - I certainly couldn't last a week there! I'm quite a frequent winner at an online casino so I usually save up my winnings to pay for my next trip to Vegas!

At 8:07 AM, September 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2:37 PM, September 15, 2008, Blogger red said...

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At 2:28 AM, October 18, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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