‘Get Ready to Buck’ Fuels Outrage in Vegas

Rhett Pardon
"Get ready to buck all night."

That was the pitch offered at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel during the National Finals Rodeo that caught the eye of Nevada Concerned Citizens, a group that is expressing fears that racy advertisements are driving away potential businesses and corrupting the minds of the community’s children.

Last week nearly 300 people crowded into a Nevada Gaming Commission meeting, saying hotel-casinos should be penalized for billboard advertisements that range from racy to obscene.

Las Vegan Carole Gates is a member of American Mothers Inc., which opposes what it views as "abusive sexual material in the media." The group said advertisers "are testing the water to see how far they can go.” The citizens’ groups say the risque ads began to surface when the Hard Rock and the Palms began to battle to attract hipper customers.

Marlene Ritchie told the panel when she sees such ads, she has a difficult time shaking the image from her head. “We need to protect our minds from the pollution we see in our community," she said.

But Allen Lichtenstein of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada said no Las Vegas billboard is obscene under current laws, which limit explicit nudity and actual pictures of sexual acts.

Lichtenstein said laws don’t cover sexual innuendo.

"Something that suggests sex or two women kissing does not violate the law," he said.