Following reports of public nudity
at bars and clubs earlier in the year, the chairman of Cayman’s Liquor
Licensing Board has said his members will review the possibility of creating a
policy to govern ‘exotic dancing’ within the Islands.
Board Chairman Mitchell Welds said
reports of nudity at bars, resulting from topless dancing occurring within the
clubs, is obviously unacceptable. However, he admitted there are really no set
rules when it comes to other types of dancing that might be considered exotic
“This whole thing with exotic
dancing is a fairly new thing, so we haven’t sought any guidelines or such for
licencees,” Mr. Welds said. “But if they approach us about it I’m sure we will
be able to give them some guidance as to how far we feel it should be taken.”
“But no licencee has ever said
anything officially to me since you all (referring to the Compass) ran the
story,” he said.
The liquor board is set to meet on Thursday.
If the issue is not dealt with then, Mr. Welds said it would be addressed at
the next meeting of the licensing authority which is set for June.
According to local advertisements,
at least one Grand Cayman bar is currently
hosting a “bikini night” on Sundays. Another establishment has contacted the
Caymanian Compass with questions about the legality of hosting a similar event.
Bar owners and liquor
licence-holders have expressed their desire to stay competitive in what can be
a cutthroat business. But they don’t want to take it too far and run afoul of
the liquor board.
Mr. Welds said, since the first two
reports of public nudity at local bars, at least one other such report has been
made to the Liquor Licensing Board – the latest one by the licencee themselves.
“If (the club’s activities) is
going to include nudity, what some people call stripping, then we would have a
problem with it,” he said.
Adult entertainment clubs are not
permitted to operate in the Cayman Islands and according to the Penal Code
(2007 Revision): “Whoever publicly exhibits any indecent show or performance or
any show or performance tending to corrupt morals” can be fined up to $200 and
imprisoned for three months on conviction.
The Liquor Licensing Law (2000
Revision) also prohibits “drunkenness, gambling, disorderly or riotous
behaviour or blasphemous or unseen language on the licensed premises”.
In cases investigated thus far by
the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service “hot spot” teams, no arrests have been
made and officers’ observations have merely been reported to the Liquor
Police Commissioner David Baines
said officers have become aware in recent months that a few local clubs are
running what amounts to exotic dancing operations.
The first clue, Mr. Baines said,
occurred when nightclub personnel didn’t want to allow police officers instant
access to their premises.
“We’ve had instances where we’ve
gone to go into the (club) doors as part of our searches and there’s been an
obvious delay in permitting us access,” Mr. Baines said.
“We’re taking action against those
bars, because as we’ve gone in it seemed fairly clear to us that either you had
exotic dancing or topless dancing, whatever you want to call it.”
Mr. Baines said thus far the issue
is not one he considers a major problem and has only occurred at “less than a
handful of clubs”.