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Porn stars leave their condoms in California and head for Vegas

The porn industry is blowing Hollywood a kiss and packing its bags for Sin City.

A 2012 law requiring male porn stars to wear condoms and the high cost of operating a business in Los Angeles County have compelled many involved in the adult film industry to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada, where filming can continue without regulatory and monetary burdens, USA Today reported.

At the Adult Entertainment Expo this week, porn purveyors discussed the need to shift the business to an area that was both more affordable and accepting of the x-rated film culture.

Jules Jordan, a porn star and adult film director, explained, “It’s not really an option to change the way we make our movies, and moving production isn’t that hard.”

Since the law took effect in 2012, the porn industry has suffered in Los Angeles County. The number of license applications fell from about 480 in 2012 to just 24 through the first nine months of 2013 — about a 95 percent decline.

Joanne Cachapero, membership director of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) — a nonprofit, trade association for the adult entertainment industry — told The Daily Caller News Foundation that requiring condom use can have a dramatic impact on video sales. She noted that, “In 2004, when the major studios went condom-only for a period of time, Vivid Entertainment said that their sales dropped 30 percent.”

Cachapero added that FSC is not against condom use, they just want the actors to be able to choose whether they wear one.

At the moment, the law requiring actors to wear protection only applies to operations within Los Angeles County, but the legislation has forced many directors to move their studios outside of LA, making the production process more difficult.

But the push to move across state line to Nevada goes beyond the condom law. Growing access to free amateur online videos and the high costs of operating in California make the case for leaving the state even more compelling, says Lee Roy Meyer, the co-owner of Mission Control studios and film director for WoodRocket.com.

Rationalizing his studio’s move to an area just outside of the Las Vegas strip, Meyer explained that California charges hundreds of dollars for studio permits and requires health checks. Vegas, on the other hand, only charges a minimal fee and does not require actors to undergo health screenings.

“Figuring out how to make these things more cheaply won’t include shooting in Los Angeles,” he says.

The director also points out that while the condom police are a growing force in California, Las Vegas residents are much more open minded about the porn industry.

“They’re used to it here because they already kind of have it,” says Meyer. Prostitution is legal in Las Vegas and there are already many women in the area who work in the adult entertainment industry.

Chris Giunchigliani, the Commissioner of Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, also believes that the porn industry will find a comfortable home in Sin City.

“It’s a legalized industry and properly regulated, so I don’t see it as a problem,” says Giunchigliani. “I think the city and the county will benefit from any expansion of the film industry. It’s economic diversification.”

Derek Hay, the owner of adult talent agency LA Direct Models, is one of the industry leaders who has already opened up shop in Las Vegas. According to his prediction, about 20 percent of the industry will have moved to Vegas by the year’s end.

If Hay’s prognoses prove to be true, it could have a significant impact on the Golden State’s economy. One study conducted in 2006 estimated that the adult film industry in Los Angeles employs around 12,000 people and the industry as a whole generates around $10 to $12 billion in annual revenue.

Whether or not the industry completely dissolves in California depends on the future expansion of the law, says Cachapero, ”If the condom regulations were to become a statewide mandate, then producers would have no choice but to go elsewhere for production”

But even with the restriction only impacting Los Angeles County, “If producers feel that California has become too restrictive to allow production, then they will naturally gravitate to areas that are more business-friendly,” says Cachapero.

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