How Is Dennis Hof's Love Ranch South Legal? Here's How The Nevada Brothel Is Able To Exist

The news about Lamar Odom has left his family, friends, and fans reeling. Tuesday, the Nye County Sheriff's Department confirmed that Odom was found unconscious at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada — and, according to reports from TMZ, Odom's condition remains serious. Following Odom's hospitalization after his weekend stay at the establishment, some might be questioning the legality of a brothel like Dennis Hof's Love Ranch South. Hof's Love Ranch South, according to its website, provides clients with "classy escorts and courtesans," all of whom provide a "menu" of sexual services.

It's true that Odom spent the weekend at the Love Ranch South, which in and of itself is not illegal, since prostitution is legal in 10 out of the 17 counties in Nevada. Prostitution is not illegal statewide, like in the rest of the United States, but each county in Nevada can decide whether they want prostitution to be legal within its borders. In Nye County, prostitution is legal — hence Hof's Love Ranch's existence.

According to the Ranch's official website (note: this link is very much NSFW) Love Ranch South is a legal brothel, which has several other locations also run by Hof. According to the website, Hof's ranches basically provide legal sex: "Sure, there are strip clubs in Nevada," says the "About" page on the website, "but the BunnyRanch and LoveRanch brothels are strip clubs with the added incentive of legal sex, with women you’ve seen on cable and the Internet."

The curtain was also pulled back on legal prostitution in Hof's HBO documentary series Cathouse , which chronicled the activities of the workers of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, another brothel that Hof owns and operates. The first documentary, Cathouse, aired on HBO in 2002, followed by a sequel Cathouse: Back In The Saddle in 2003. Later, in 2005, a television series spinoff titled Cathouse aired on the network. It lasted four seasons and heavily featured Hof and his then-girlfriend, porn star Sunset Thomas. The series was sexually explicit, and showcased some of the activities of the women working in the house.

CNN on YouTube

In an interview with CNN, Hoff stated that he believes his ranches actually help women who are interested in prostitution stay away from those who might exploit them. In fact, many of the ranch women interviewed stated that they found that the ranch was a safer place for them than out on the street: Cosmopolitan recently interviewed legal prostitute Perla, who works at Sheri's Ranch outside of Las Vegas. In the article, Perla described her experience working at Sheri's Ranch as well-organized, safe, and overall positive.

Alex Wong/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Odom reportedly suffered an ischemic stroke after he was found unconscious at the Love Ranch South. According to another report from E!, Odom is in a coma, and a source claimed that it's "likely" he has brain damage. Though Odom's blood test results — which the Nye County Sheriff's Department has a search warrant for, Sheriff Sharon Wehrly revealed in a press conference on Wednesday — have reportedly not come back yet, sources claim that Odom was using unregulated and illegal drugs, chiefly an "herbal" Viagra substitute and cocaine.

On Wednesday, Odom's rep Eve Sarkisyan told Us Weekly, "Family and friends are extremely concerned for Lamar. Please don't listen to the false information being circulated unofficially. Please respect the family's privacy during this difficult time."

Here is the Sheriff of Nye County's official statement on Odom's hospitalization:

Bustle has reached out for comment in response to reports of Odom’s condition, but has not yet heard back.