‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (2024)

Walking through the streets of Paceville, one is struck by the number of gentlemen’s clubs in the area. Their employees are outside, handing out flyers and enticing customers inside. But what really goes on behind those walls?The Malta Independent on Sunday spoke to an individual who was heavily involved in the running of one of the clubs a few years back, to discuss the inner workings of such clubs.

How are the dancers hired?

“The girls regularly move from one club to another, so that is an easy way of hiring. If they are treated well at the club they often encourage their friends to come and work there.

“There are also agents who bring in girls – generally from Eastern Europe – to work at the club. The agents themselves are also foreign.

“During my time at the club, there were only a few girls, probably around five, who had been hired through these agents. I worked hard to get the girls away from the agents: they take advantage of the girls for years, even once they are employed by the club. Sometimes the contract has a time limit, after which they are released from their obligations to the agent.

“The agents used to bring these girls over to Malta with nothing but the clothes on their backs, give them a job, a mobile phone, accommodation, clothes and whatever they need to live. However, the agent then used to take most of the girls’ earnings from the club.

“In fact, wages were generally collected directly by the agent from the club and then they would give the girls a minimal amount. Some girls used to collect their own wages but mostly they are still given to their agents.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (1)

“As a result, the girls are completely dependent on their agents and the only way you could get them away from the agents was to threaten to report them, but this was not easy.

“When the girls are not employed through an agency, there is the issue of obtaining a work permit for them, because most of them are from outside the EU. What was usually done, back then, was to obtain a VAT number for the girls to work as self-employed until such time as they could be registered to work full-time for the club.

“The police often came into the clubs to check work permits and if found a girl without a permit, she would immediately be taken away for investigation. The police used to carry out the checks two or three times a week.

There were some girls without permits and, in fact, when the police came into the club, the girls used to hide in the back rooms until they had left.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (2)

Are dancers allowed to have a boyfriend?

“You would have men waiting outside for us to open to come and see a specific girl. They would spend the whole night with the same girl, and spend a large amount of money on her. These men would have been obsessed with that one girl and would come to see her nearly every night.

“Although boyfriends are not a problem, most girls get involved in this work with the main aim of finding someone well off who can keep them, so they will no longer have to work in the industry. As long as the girls are not brought in by an agent, they can leave any time, but some make a lot of money in the club and want to continue having the same type of lifestyle. This is why they target wealthy men. They do this job because they can make a lot of money – they do not live like a poor person and a lot of them also send money to their families back home.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (3)

How much do the dancers earn and how do they earn commission?

This depends on the girl, with some of the better dancers even earning up to €3,000 a night, whilst others may earn more in the region of €200. They are required to work about six evenings a week.

“The dancer receives a ‘basic wage’ of €35 but this is only given to the girl if she makes more than €100 a night from drinks and dances. Apart from this basic wage, she then makes a 50 per cent commission on the dances. Each dance costs about €25, but the girl does not dance naked. If the client pays €50, however, then she will dance without her top on.

“The dances last three minutes and the girl knows when the time is up from the song. The DJ knows the duration of the dances and plays songs accordingly so the girls know when the three minutes have passed.

“You can also spend an hour with a girl in a private room for about a €100. She will perform a few dances and the rest of the time is spent just talking.

“The girls also get a commission from drinks, generally what we call ‘co*cktails’. The girls request this type of drink because they are more expensive than ordinary drinks and can cost her client in the region of €6. From these drinks, she makes about €1 or €2 per drink, depending on what it is. The co*cktails are generally nothing more than fruit juice mixed with water. If the girls have an actual co*cktail, with alcohol in it, they do not make any commission.

“The money generated from the dances is not usually declared by club owners, who only declare the money from drinks. It would not be feasible to pay the girl 50 per cent commission if the money was fully declared.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (4)

What about prostitution, does it happen?

“A lot of the girls will agree to meet up with a client for paid sex, but since this goes on outside the club, nothing much can be said to them. Of course, the ones who have boyfriends do not do this, but the ones who are only after money are most definitely involved in prostitution.

“In my time, things were different. At the most, perhaps you would see a topless dancer, but things have changed in the past few years. There is a price list for the different sexual favours that are carried out in the club. There is the same system abroad, with the only difference being that in Malta you are permitted to touch the girls, whereas abroad there is generally a strict no-touch policy – unless, of course, you pay to have sex with her.

“Just look at the Acapulco Club, which has been mentioned in the news so frequently in the news lately. There the men run around in a gown, as in a spa, choosing the girl they want to have sex with in the different types of rooms: some even have a jacuzzi. The difference with clubs abroad is that every club is different: some are just for dancing, others are more like brothels – each with their own licences. Of course, the better looking the girl, the more she charges and the more the client asks for, the higher the prices.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (5)

Does a gentleman’s club require a special licence?

“As it stands at the moment, no special licence is required to operate a gentleman’s club and, as such, these clubs are licensed as regular bars, discos or nightclubs. When a gentleman’s club is licensed as a nightclub, it is allowed to operate until 4am. However, it is common knowledge that these clubs often remain open until way past 4am.

At 4am, the sound is reduced and the doors are closed and then, once the police have done their rounds, the club reopens.

There have been several cases of owners and dancers ending up in court but it seems that the magistrates appointed in these cases simply call for regulation of the clubs but fail to find anything illegitimate. One magistrate noted that the law spoke of “committing an immoral act” but failed to define ‘immoral’.

“In many cases, dancers who had been found skimpily dressed in these clubs were acquitted of the charges made against them.

Online agencies

The Malta Independent on Sunday carried out a quick search on the internet to see if any online agencies recruiting dancers for Maltese gentlemen’s clubs were available. In the first search, several were found – specifically mentioning Malta as a place for these dancers to work. Most of these agencies seemed legitimate, with some even mentioning that they only work with clubs that are respectful to the dancers and that work legally.

All the agencies listed the payments the dancers receive from commission and most provide accommodation for them at discounted prices.

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (6)

‘Dancers can make up to €3,000 per night’ – the untold inner workings of gentlemen’s clubs in Malta - The Malta Independent (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated:

Views: 5931

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.