Following the voters passage of Measure B in Los Angeles County this past week, some in the county’s huge adult film industry are looking into a possible exodus to Las Vegas for future film production. Measure B will allow the county health agency to establish possible new rules that require the use of condoms or other barrier devices in adult film production and could cost film companies around $30,000 in various health licenses and the county around $300,000 in new regulatory agency costs. The adult film industry didn’t put up a great fight against the ballot measure, but now will have to live with the consequences of the passage of the measure, which could be very costly to the industry as well as hurtful to sales of adult videos.
Besides the warm weather in California, the state became an attractive area for the adult film industry to develop in partially because of a favorable state Supreme Court decision that views production of adult films as legal and not subject to prostitution laws. In Nevada, the same sort of legal environment likely exists, and some adult film production already takes place there now, and at least one Las Vegas city commissioner is welcoming an exodus of the adult film industry to their city. Nevada also has favorable tax laws thanks to the gambling industry. There is no state income tax in Nevada and other taxes tend to be quite low, and the schools well funded, all because of the huge tax revenues that the gambling industry generates. The adult film industry operating in Las Vegas would likely be able to save millions of dollars in taxes each year. However, the loss of so much revenue for California could only force more state and local cutbacks of services, police and education.
Although the adult film industry has been relatively safe in terms of AIDS, a private organization, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation(AHF) largely pushed the ballot measure for publicity reasons to further their fundraising efforts. The amount of publicity they reaped from the campaign probably will help to bolster their donations, but likely salaries and other overhead will absorb quite a bit of these added donations, like many nonprofit organizations.
There doesn’t appear to much incentive by the Los Angeles City Council to push for new rules on the adult film industry because there really hasn’t been any health crisis to justify the new rules. But, it is expected in the next six months that the county will likely draw up some rules to satisfy the voters intentions of this ballot measure, and depending on the outcome of those rules, the adult film industry will decide whether to leave Los Angeles County or not.