Las Vegas Strip Clubs Can Continue Taxi Driver Payouts

Rhett Pardon
LAS VEGAS — Conventioneers might encounter one of Sin City’s largest affiliate programs when they descend on Internext.

This time, however, it’s not about websites. It’s about taxi drivers, strip clubs and massage parlors.

Clark County in late December voted down a measure to crack down on businesses offering payouts to limousine and taxi drivers because funding enforcement would cost $650,000 a year.

A Clark County panel faced three options: move to repeal the ordinance; amend it to include all types of commercial drivers; or keep the existing law on the books.

So board members agreed the 20-year-old law is antiquated and essentially useless. They also agreed that the issue is one that can be sorted out by the free market.

The ordinance outlawing tipping from commercial operations was originally passed in 1985 after restaurant owners complained that payouts to cabdrivers delivering customers were increasing.

But lately it has been strip club owners complaining about paying as much as $70 per passenger dropped off at their businesses.

Earlier this month, strip club owners entered into an agreement to not pay cabbies anymore. But some drivers admit that some clubs have already broken the pact and started offering payouts again.

Commissioner Tom Collins, a first-term commissioner and former legislator, said he opposed governing the practice back in 1985, and he has not changed his position.

“We never did anything about it there because it was none of our business,” Collins said. “It’s the American way. It’s the Nevada way anyway.”