Darien Town Board members approved tighter regulations on strip clubs Tuesday night, almost six months after workers at Vegas Gentlemen’s Club were arrested in a law enforcement drug sweep.
Under the new regulations, contract workers—dancers and bouncers—must sign identification forms and supply a government-issued photo ID to work in strip clubs in the town of Darien. Those identifications must be kept on site.
The updates also mandate improvements to a club’s exterior lighting. A 90-day license suspension is possible if Wisconsin laws are continually breached on a club’s premises and if law enforcement is called to a location more than three times in a 60-day period.
Officials hope the suspension amendment fosters stronger oversight from club managers and curtails criminal activity at the clubs, which had become a problem for police.
Town attorney Kim Howarth said the ordinances will go into effect in about a week. Board Chairman Cecil Logterman missed the meeting.
Jason Schuster, who owns the Vegas Gentlemen’s Club, told the board last month the license suspension amendment could strain the relationship with the town, saying managers at the club might be reluctant to report criminal activity out of fear of being shut down.
But on Tuesday night, board members made no changes to the ordinances. Howarth said he didn’t receive a comment from the Vegas Gentlemen’s Club attorney after the meeting, and the attorney for Show Palace, another strip club in the town, said he approved of the ordinances.
Walworth County Sheriff’s Office deputies suggested ordinance changes after calls to the Vegas Gentlemen’s Club had become more frequent over the past year or two. A sheriff’s deputy said resources were being drained by responding to the calls, and in at least one instance, deputies struggled to identify a dancer because she used an alias.
Then in February, at least three workers at Vegas Gentlemen’s Club were caught up in a large drug sweep across southern Wisconsin. They were arrested on charges of selling cocaine, and police said some of the alleged transactions took place at the club.
Previously, town ordinances did not regulate how strip clubs documented their contract labor. Documentation of dancers was left to club ownership, and it’s unclear how or whether clubs kept those records.