Alcohol may soon be allowed in WA strip clubs; dancers are for it

Feb 8, 2023, 1:33 PM

Strip clubs...

Alcohol may soon be allowed at strip clubs in Washington. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A new bill in the Washington state Senate would allow alcohol sales in strip clubs.

Dancers at a hearing on the measure seem to be all for it.

“The time for a change in this industry is long overdue,” Sharla, one of the dancers who testified, said.

Right now, only non-alcoholic beverages are served. Alcohol sales would bring a new source of revenue to the clubs, something the entertainers are all for.

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“It would take away a tool that abusive clubs use to put pressure on dancers,” Emily said. “It would make Washington clubs on par with other states where alcohol is sold, and house fees for dancers are substantially lower.”

Currently in Washington, dancers pay a fee to work in the clubs. If this bill is passed it is likely that dancers would have to pay less.

Entertainers say there are also other benefits.

“In clubs that don’t serve alcohol, I had to deal with more violent or aggressive customers than places that do serve alcohol,” Lexi said. “The sales of alcohol would allow clients to bond with their friends and with the dancers as well.”

One club owner agrees that serving alcohol benefits both the business and the dancers.

“The ability to serve alcohol would increase flexibility and reduce costs for entertainers and maintaining high-quality facilities,” said Eric Forbes, owner of Déjà Vu. “This bill would significantly change the relationship between dancers and establishments.”

The bill also requires security training for club staff and the installation of a panic button if dancers get into trouble.

Entertainers say anything that helps their working environment is a good thing.

“Criminalizing and creating more barriers around this industry only further stigmatizes what we do,” Lexi said. “This is a good job.”

The bill is currently in committee.

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Alcohol may soon be allowed in WA strip clubs; dancers are for it