As We See It

Are ladies nights legal or not?

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New legislation legalizes price differentiation based on sex.
Kristian Hammerstad

Many bars and clubs offer women free entry and free drinks. It’s unfair, but who’s going to complain about it? Todd Phillips will. In 2008, he filed a suit with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission after the Las Vegas Athletic Club offered his wife a better membership deal than the one he received. The commission sided with Phillips, and the ruling put our state in a tricky situation: We knew Phillips was right—ladies’ night practices are unfair—but we didn’t seem to mind. We cared about packing our bars and clubs, and we knew that female-favorable treatment was a great way to do it. So check out the new law Governor Sandoval just signed: “It is not unlawful and it is not a ground for civil action for any place of public accommodation to offer differential pricing, discounted pricing or special offers based on sex to promote or market the place of public accommodation.” Catch that? The new law basically says it’s unfair to give women special discounts, unless you’re doing it to make money, which is, of course, the only reason businesses give women discounts in the first place. It’s like saying, “No abortions, unless you don’t want to have a baby.” Of course, everybody loves the new law. After all, it puts us right back where we were before Todd Phillips—back where we were making money.

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