Idaho tribe's casino sanctioned for hosting racy performance
Oct. 19, 2015
COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Regulators have temporarily suspended an American Indian casino's liquor license after determining the Idaho venue hosted an all-male revue that featured simulated sex acts and outfits that were too revealing.
The Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel is prohibited from serving alcohol for 10 days after holding "HUNKS The Show," a traveling performance that includes stripping and dancing. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe, which operates the resort, also must pay a $25,000 fine.
"Dancers with the show 'Hunks' created the problem, not with nudity but apparently with dance moves the Idaho liquor control board considers excessive," casino spokesman Bob Bostwick told The Spokesman-Review.
Bostwick said the dance group broke a state law that bans performers from simulating sex acts. The tribe in September agreed with the Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Division to the license suspension and fine.
"The dance group violated their contract, which stipulated that they would keep the show within the bounds under Idaho liquor laws," Bostwick said. "Still, it is the seller who is penalized."
Carl Disonell, booking agent and owner of the eight-man show, said the group does 250 performances a year around the country. He was surprised the January event in northern Idaho resulted in the casino's liquor license being suspended.
"It's a normal show," he said. "What people don't understand is it's really up for interpretation. If a guy pops his hips one time — 'Oh, that's a sex act.'"
He said Idaho was the only place the show caused problems for a venue.
"It's like we're in the 1940s," he said. "It sounds to me like (inspectors) went there looking to fine the casino."
Idaho State Police spokeswoman Teresa Baker said there was no full nudity, but performers pushed the boundary too far and violated state law by showing too much buttocks.
As for simulated sex acts, she said, "anything is a matter of interpretation, but if you look at the statute it is clear."
The show is billed as the country's "hottest" all male revue with choreographed production numbers that include acrobatics, costume changes and vocal performances.
"The guys are good-looking and fit, and they are extremely personable," Disonell said.
Bostwick said the hotel-casino has served alcohol for about 20 years and has never before had a problem with its liquor license.
"We are always careful to ensure our guests are of legal age, and our staff is trained to monitor consumption," Bostwick said.
The suspension lasts from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10. During that time, guests must keep alcoholic beverages in their hotel rooms. "We will simply make the best of this temporary suspension," Bostwick said.
In a separate case in June, state officials penalized three Lewiston bars with a $10,000 fine and 15-day liquor license suspension against their parent company, Weber Inc.
In that case, two undercover officers acted as patrons at an event advertised as the "Ultimate Males Las Vegas Style Strip Show," according to police documents. The officers reported witnessing activities that are prohibited at establishments licensed to sell beer, wine or alcohol.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com