Lawsuit in Works Over Bill to Outlaw Nudity at Missouri Nudy Clubs
That's all the supporters of state Sen. Matt Bartle's bill S.B. 586 say the legislation will cost Missouri and local municipalities in lost tax revenue each year.
That's $100,000 for a bill that could force the closure of an estimated 60 percent Missouri's 130 adult-entertainment businesses (strip clubs and bookstores), and it's a number that just doesn't add up, says Dick Snow, owner of the Kansas City nudy club, Bazooka's.
"My business alone pays $180,000 a year in sales and withholding taxes each year," says Snow, who serves as treasurer of Missouri's chapter of the Association of Club Executives (ACE) -- a trade group for the adult-entertainment industry. "So how can they say that the bill would just just cost Missouri a hundred thousand dollars?!"
The bill, passed back in May, would make Missouri the most restrictive state in the nation when it comes to regulating adult businesses by:
- banning the sale, consumption or use of alcohol in such businesses
- restricting hours of operation to between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m.
- outlawing private video booths at bookstores and lap dances at strip clubs
- and, lastly, prohibiting anyone from appearing nude inside the establishments.
|Similar signs could soon grace Missouri strip clubs.|
The bill allows women to perform "semi-nude" or in a "state of semi-nudity" provided their breasts are covered along a "horizontal line across the top of the areola and extending across the width of the breast at such point" and "includes the lower portion of the human female breast." Male dancers must also be covered up and cannot dance when sexually aroused per language in the bill that prohibits the flaunting of "human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state."
"The way this bill is worded, someone at the public swimming pool can be more 'nude' than the entertainers at Missouri's adult clubs," notes Snow, who reckons the bill will force him to shutter his 31-year-old business in downtown Kansas City. "I think we at ACE are being conservative when we say that this bill will cause 60 percent of Missouri adult-entertainment businesses to close shop."
In St. Louis city and county, local ordinances already prohibit nude and/or topless dancing, but that's not the case in Kansas City, Columbia and a handful of other towns that are home to 40 or so cabarets currently operating in Missouri. Throw in the state's 90 bookstores and novelty shops and the total number of employees working in the adult-entertainment industry in Missouri adds up to about 3,000 employees.