• Raymond Mansi

Prostitution in Nevada


Nevada is the only state that has legalized prostitution. For decades there has been plenty of controversy and debates regarding brothels and prostitution in the state. This fall Lyon County has a question on the ballot that will ask voters whether or not brothels should be banned. This blog will not go into whether or not prostitution should be legal or whether or not the people of Lyon County should ban brothels. We will discuss prostitution laws and learn some more about prostitution in the state of Nevada.

The Lyon County ballot question regarding brothels has been a hot topic not only in the state but all across the country. The Washington Post and CNBC are two news outlets that have picked this news story up already. With Nevada being the only state that has legalized prostitution a misconception is that it is legal all throughout the state. County and state laws have made it so that if you visit Las Vegas, Reno, and Carson City that you can’t engage in prostitution. Lyon County is one of the few counties in the country that allow brothels. Counties with less than 700,000 people may allow brothels to operate within its borders.

There were 3,477 prostitution arrests in the state of Nevada in 2017. Only eight counties have brothels that are legal. Prostitution as defined in NRS 201.295 states ““Prostitution” means engaging in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration or other thing of value.” Prostitution is only allowed in licensed brothels. This means if you are visiting a county with legalized prostitution you can only engage in prostitution in a brothel. If you fail to oblige to the law you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Below is a table that shows the amount of prostitution arrests in the state of Nevada in 2017.


This fall we will learn whether or not Lyon County will ban brothels. We will also see in the future if other counties will follow Lyon County by putting the question of whether or not brothels should be legal. Nevada is a state with changing laws and we will see changes in all types of laws all across the state.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 15-NCS-X-02 (NIBRS) 2015-R2-CX-K043 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.

© 2019  by UCR Program 

If you have questions or need additional information please Email at nocrequest@dps.state.nv.us

Site last updated on:   Decemcber 3,  2019