HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Beginning at midnight Wednesday morning, all adult entertainment businesses in Horry County had to start abiding by stricter new laws. Seven businesses were ticketed shortly after midnight on Wednesday- all cited for violating the hours of operation.
The new laws caused quite a bit of controversy over the summer when they passed, but the county gave owners time to comply with the new regulations. The laws were enacted at midnight on Wednesday, and one part of the change was to operate as a nightclub or restaurant- or move to an area zoned for strip clubs. Michael Rose owns The Gold Club, he said he has made the appropriate changes- but he was still ticketed and he said he doesn't understand why.
The law says if the businesses choose to stay where they are, they must follow the same rules a restaurant or nightclub has to follow- such as no nudity. Seven businesses were issued tickets Wednesday right after midnight. The police reports state the establishments were in violation of the legal hours of operation. But Rose argues that since his entertainers were wearing bikinis and were not nude- he was in compliance with operating as a nightclub so he says in that case, he's allowed to stay open past midnight and serve alcohol.
"So even writing the citation for violation of the adult hours was incorrect to do because if we were in violation of the hours well then, we should have been clearly in violation of the zoning ordinance of operating a club and not properly zoned for it. So really none of it made any sense to me," Rose said.
Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said it's up to the officer's discretion whether or not to write a ticket. If officers feel the business is operating in any way like a strip club, then they have the authority to ticket them.