NBA All-Star Game also attracts other pros - strippers, prostitutes

The NBA All-Star Game is a celebration of basketball, but for many in town now, it's as much a celebration of decadence.

Along with limousines, free-flowing champagne and celebrity-filled parties comes booming business in the sex industries – both legal and illegal. Local officials think significant numbers of prostitutes and strippers already have made their way to North Texas seeking a huge male audience with disposable income.

Both groups are getting scrutiny this week as Cowboys Stadium hosts probably its highest-profile event since its opening last year.

Dallas police already have announced a crackdown on prostitution during All-Star Game Week. Arlington police unveiled a new effort this week to bust online hookers, but department officials said it was unrelated to the All-Star Game. The city's Special Events Enforcement Team also will be monitoring sexually oriented businesses to ensure that they are operating legally and complying with "no touch" restrictions.

It's widely understood that sex is big business at sports mega-events, but it's tough to put numbers on the lusty and sometimes dark side of the All-Star Game.

A trade association for adult nightclubs estimates that the number of dancers in the Dallas area could increase by as much as 25 percent to handle the extra business.

Figures are tougher to come by when the business is illegal. But experts say the total is probably far lower than the estimate, circulating on the Internet, that as many as 100,000 prostitutes will travel to North Texas for next year's Super Bowl.

"Any of us who are considered experts in the field are not going to give you a number," said Melissa Farley, a researcher and anti-prostitution activist. "No one has ever measured that. You can't."

She said the best estimates sometimes come from arrest figures, but those reflect only a small and unknown percentage of what's really happening on the streets, escort Web sites and massage parlors.

*from dallasnews.com

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