Exposing the Dark Side of Gambling Addiction


By Annie Mueller
For Casino Watch Foundation

Only two states in America allow prostitution: Nevada and Rhode Island. In Nevada, "brothels are legalized and heavily regulated. In Rhode Island, the act of sex for money is not illegal, but street solicitation and operating a brothel are" (1). Rhode Island has legalized gambling in many forms. To say the same of Nevada would simply be a vast understatement. 

Only Nevada, out of 50 states, legalizes brothel operation. Telling that the home state of Las Vegas, the heart of America's gambling trend, is the only state to do so. Even though Las Vegas is in Clark County, in which no prostitution is legal, reporter Alyson McCarthy says that "[a]ccording to a report from the Nevada Coalition against Sex Trafficking, most of the prostitution in Nevada is taking place illegally in Clark County on the streets, in the strip clubs and in the city's hotelcasinos"(2).

An article from Casino On Net website states that "[g]ambling is also a perfect environment for prostitution... It seems that prostitutes are a factor that must be calculated into any casino environment" (3). Casino on Net provides links to online gambling. It is far from an antigambling organization.

Jon Ralston, a columnist for the Las Vegas Sun, reports that "They [gamers] supposedly don't condone prostitution, which flourishes through strip clubs and outcall services and in a casino or two. But, as Jack Sheehan reported, if the opportunity arises for them to go into the business, the gamers will leap at it. Just as they leapt at opportunities in New Jersey, on Indian reservations, and around the globe..." (4).

One of the more alarming examples of prostitution in casinos occurred in 2004 in Atlantic City, where two men and six casino employees were charged with arranging prostitution service for customers. According to New York Times reporter John Holl, "Mr. Lnu [one of the men arrested] recruited more than 20 women to travel to the United States from Asia to work for the prostitution ring allegedly operated by Mr. Dinh. Mr. Richardson said the men worked with four casino floor hosts and two casino executive directors" (5).

Obviously, the bigger the case, the more publicity gained. Less obvious but more likely, however, are the smaller, day-to-day prostitution deals carried on illicitly in casinos. The organized crime-casino connection, which cannot be reasonably denied, further validates the "coincidental" proximity of gambling and prostitution. Prostitution has long been a moneymaker for organized crime rings, usually ranking just below drug trafficking and money laundering.

1. "Prostitution in Nevada." Wikipedia.
2. McCarthy, Alyson. "Many Tourists Think Prostitution is Legal in Las Vegas." Las Vegas Now Eyewitness News. 6 September 2007.
http://www.klastv. com/Global/story.asp?S=7033137
3. "Free Online Casino Gambling Site":
http://www.casinoonnet.tv/casinosandcriminal. html
4. Ralston, Jon. "Jon Ralston wonders whether rampant gambling, prostitution should be part of the image that Las Vegans want to create." Las Vegas Sun. 09 September 2007.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/commentary/2007/sep/09/566690403. html
5. Holl, John. "Metro Briefing: New Jersey: Atlantic City: 2 Charged with Prostitution." The New York Times. Compiled by Anthony Ramirez. Published 26 March 2004.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9900E1DA1330F935A15750C0 A9629C8B63