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Pakxe cracks down on errant entertainment venues

Champassak authorities are inspecting restaurants and other entertainment venues such as nightclubs in an effort to curb the growth of prostitution and other issues.
Deputy Director of the Champassak Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr Bounteuy Chanthalasine, speaking by telephone to Vientiane Times on Thursday said a workshop was held to discuss the impacts of prostitution and other social issues that seem endemic to entertainment venues.
The workshop was also attended by Deputy Governor of Champassak province, Mr Boualin Vongphachanh.
When authorities initially began entertainment venue inspections they issued a number of warnings to establishments including the closure of premises for three months as a form of punishment, Mr Bounteuy said.
Nightclubs were also being reported as undermining social security.
Among the issues of concern were that many clubs have been allowing teenagers under 18 to enter their premises, which is against the regulations.
Provincial authorities started inspections last month in two districts of Pakxe issuing advice, warnings and even closure notices to owners of entertainment venues found to be in breach of the regulations, Mr Bounteuy said.
As these districts form the central area of the city they have the highest risk of being exposed to the prostitution and drug trades, he added, explaining that they also have some of the largest entertainment areas so if authorities could succeed here their actions could be more easily introduced in other areas.
Mr Bounteuy noted that a lot of advice and warnings had been dispensed previously but the operation was not considered a resounding success because they had, at the time, not yet established a system to enforce the regulations, which they have since solidified.
The regulations mostly relate to restaurants and nightclubs requiring them to close by 11:30pm latest with penalties becoming more severe if they stay open after midnight.
If venues are found to be in violation of this ruling, on the first occasion authorities will issue a warning; a second offence will result in a further, stronger warning accompanied by a fine of 5 million kip; and a third offence will result in a 10 million kip fine and closure of the business, either temporarily or permanently.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update May 20, 2017)

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