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Patrick Lion October 12, pm STRIP clubs are being caught breaking adult entertainment laws against a backdrop of sexual assaults on dancers and prostitution claims. The Courier-Mail can reveal venues are being regularly busted for failing to supervise lap dances, failing to produce the permits allowing the nude entertainment and serving minors on premises. But tougher measures are being called for after clubs mostly escaped with little more than a warning letter or minimum fines for more serious offences.
The cases are revealed in Liquor Licensing reports obtained under Freedom of Information laws and expose the seedy side of Queensland the Bligh Government rarely talks about.
Brisbane CBD club Showgirls faces losing its permit after a raft of incidents, including dancers getting too close to patrons and the alleged rape of a dancer in a VIP room during a performance. But industry group EROS Australia admits the cases are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg as Liquor Licensing inspected the 26 venues holding permits only once every seven weeks last year, down from five weeks previously.
Treasurer Andrew Fraser yesterday defended his department's enforcement, saying many "cowboy outfits" had been removed in recent years. Mr Fraser said more serious cases were referred to police. Only a warning letter was given to Players at Surfers Paradise last July after a supervisor was distracted eating a packet of Twisties. The Velvet Cigar, Paddington, April 1, Police found no controller was supervising four lap dances on upper level at just after 2am.
Controller claimed she left the area to speak to Mr Zanthopolous, despite a phone being there for that purpose. Mr Zanthopolous became defensive and poked policeman in the shoulder. July 15, Warning letter issued for insufficient crowd controller supervising dances with manager acting in both roles. No signage advising patrons of CCTV cameras or of the house policy being available. Showgirls, Brisbane CBD, March 15, Dancer alleged she was raped by a patron and associate of licensee during a lap dance in a VIP room, which was being renovated and could only be entered with fingerprint identification.