Licensing chiefs in Glasgow have secured a significant legal victory in a bid to shut down a prominent lap-dancing club in the city.
Spearmint Rhino was denied a licence by the council’s licensing board last May after CCTV footage revealed that the club’s dancers were flouting the council’s code of conduct.
During an inspection of the footage it was discovered that two of the club’s dancers stripped naked.
The club’s dancers were also discovered to be making considerable physical contact with the club’s customers, and another employee is believed to have exposed herself while handing out flyers in the city centre.
The council’s decision has now been upheld by Glasgow Sherriff Court, and the ruling could strengthen local councils’ control over such venues.
Stephen Dornan, chairman of Glasgow’s licensing board, welcomed the decision, saying: “This decision makes it plain the board was fully entitled to refuse the application for Spearmint Rhino. The reports we saw left us in no doubt this club was ignoring the board’s policy on lap-dancing.
“We have clear rules which cover contact with dancers and the exposure of genitalia and these were not followed. Based on the evidence before us, we really had no choice but to refuse.
“Other licensing boards will be looking very closely at this judgment as it’s sure to have wide implications.
“The licensing objectives may use a broad brush, but it’s now obvious we have a great deal of power to operate within those objectives.”
Spearmint Rhino, which will be able to continue to operate due to a legislative loop hole, is now expected to appeal to the Court of Session.
The club has yet to comment.
Last week it was revealed that plans which would allow Scottish councils to ban lap-dancing clubs had been put on hold following concerns that the proposals could catch theatre productions.
However, the Scottish Government supports the principle behind the plans and intends to introduce a more tightly worded amendment.
In February a former lap-dancer revealed how girls, some under the age of 18, are routinely pushed to perform sexual acts on men in lap-dancing clubs in order to make money.
In a candid interview with The Times, the ex-lap dancer, called Milly, shattered the myth that the practice “is no more than dancing”.
“No one sticks to that,” she said. “And if you do, you quickly lose out.”