In a town not really known for being all that gay-friendly, a Las Vegas tavern aimed at a largely locals gay crowd now has a three-month suspended gaming license and a $27,000 fine for allowing blatant sex acts to occur out in the open in the gay-oriented bar. The Nevada Gaming Commission issued the penalties – in a unanimous ruling after a three-hour hearing on the matter – to the bar’s 79-year-old owner, Judy R. Nelson.

Making clear that the ruling was not an anti-gay statement, however, was Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Somps.  “It’s not shocking that it’s sex,” said Somps in announcing the ruling. “It’s not shocking that it was sex among men. It’s shocking that it was so blatantly out in the open in public view.”

Bar Owner Allowed Public Sex Acts

The Nevada Gaming Control Board filed a nine-count complaint against Nelson, asserting that she’d been allowing the lewd activities in her Las Vegas Eagle bar, which has a restricted gaming license that allows for up to 15 slot machines. While the penalties may sound stiff (go ahead and snicker here), they could have been much harder on her (we’re here all week).  The state had recommended a $50,000 fine and a six-month gaming license suspension, and the commission could have gone as high as $100,000 and revoked Nelson’s license completely. Their “leniency” was due to not wanting to bankrupt the elderly woman’s business, according to commissioners.

Promotional Events Held

In testimony, Nelson admitted the bar hosted some, um, creative marketing events, including a “Butt Night,” a “Locker Room Lockdown,” and an “Underwear Night.”  All allowed for a bit more than one would find in your average bar, behavior-wise.  And while Nelson claimed in her hearing that employees who “recommended” the promotions had since been fired, Nevada Gaming Commissioner John R. Moran said he believed Nelson was aware of and condoned the promotions and even helped create a sexual ambiance at her bar.

Nelson’s attorney said the Gaming Commission was just out to make an example of his client. “The state wants to crucify this woman,” said her lawyer Robert Lueck. As part of the ruling, the Control Board will be conducting undercover surveillance during the license suspension.

Just not sure where they will be keeping their badges.