Not For Sale: Massage Parlors Flourish In Georgia (2024)

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Massage parlors like the one in Florida where prosecutors say Patriots owner Robert Kraft paid for sex are common in Georgia.

Not For Sale: Massage Parlors Flourish In Georgia (4)

EDITOR'S NOTE: As Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta approached, Patch devoted exclusive and extensive coverage to the issue of human trafficking as it related to one of the world's biggest sporting events. Now that the game is over, Patch remains committed to covering this international plague with our continuing focus on local efforts to combat the crime.

ATLANTA -- Day spas, like the one in Jupiter, FL, where police say New England Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft purchased sexual services, are prevalent throughout Georgia. The businesses have set up shop in storefronts in the business districts of several metro Atlanta suburbs, including Decatur, Smyrna, Chamblee, Tucker and Dunwoody. They advertise and are reviewed on websites catering to men looking to purchase sex. Anonymous posters on those sites leave blunt descriptions of the sex acts available, as well as fees charged.

The massage parlors often rely on Chinese women who have been trafficked illegally and who are often reluctant to cooperate with police, law enforcement investigators said. In some cases, court records show evidence that the women were forced or blackmailed into performing sexual services after being lured to the U.S. from China with a promise of legitimate work. They are often not allowed to leave the storefront where they work, and they turn over all the money they earn to the operators of the massage parlors.

Find out what's happening in Atlantawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

While exact figures as to how many illegal massage parlors are operating in Georgia are hard to come by, state lawmakers have been trying for more than a decade to outlaw the businesses. In 2004 and 2005, legislators passed the Georgia Massage Therapy Practice Act, requiring massage therapists to be licensed by the state or hold a valid permit, be at least 18 years old, and be subjected to a background check, among other requirements.

However, according to a report prepared by the Vinings law firm of Freeman, Mathis & Gary in 2010, some massage parlors tried to circumvent the law by allowing the business' owners themselves not be licensed as massage therapists. In 2010, an amendment was added to close that loophole.

Find out what's happening in Atlantawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Local governments can also regulate other forms of commercial touch outside of the definition of massage or massage therapy. But in the case of the Florida investigation, police only got involved after a health department official noticed suitcases, clothing, hot plates and a store of food during an inspection.

Advertising In The Open

To find clients, the parlors advertise on sites with names like "Rub Maps," "Erotic Monkey" and "City X Guide." Federal authorities shut down one of the biggest advertising sites,, last April, but dozens of other sites have quickly stepped in to fill the void.

On Rub Maps, visitors can find street addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation for the massage parlors, as well as Yelp-like reviews left by customers that outline the types of sexual services offered and the prices paid for additional services. The site also uses a label reading "Reported as Non-Exotic" for legal spas in its search results where sexual services are not for sale.

Under its slogan "Where Fantasy Meets Reality," Rub Maps has reviews for more than 160 "Asian massage parlors" in Georgia, including 53 in Atlanta; 9 in Chamblee; 8 in Smyrna; 3 in Tucker; 3 in Dunwoody; and 2 in Decatur.

Like the day spa Kraft is accused of patronizing, the Georgia massage parlors reviewed online by Patch offer half hour- and hour-long massages for fees ranging from $60 to $80. Clients, according to the reviews, can then negotiate a "tip," code for a fee for sexual services beyond the massage. Those tips can range from $40 to $100, according to the postings on Rub Maps and similar sites.

A National, Human Trafficking Network

In the Florida cases, police said women were rotated through the massage parlors every 10 to 20 days. In some cases, they had their passports taken away. But building such cases is difficult. In Florida, investigators lined up Mandarin interpreters, but only one woman agreed to testify. The cases against the men, as well as women accused of trafficking Florida, is built largely on film of the men paying for and receiving sex acts from the women.

A total of 169 people were arrested during an 11-day, FBI-led human trafficking operation ahead of Super Bowl LIII. The Violent Crimes Against Children/Human Trafficking Program and Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force announced it had also rescued 18 victims of human trafficking, including nine juveniles and nine adults. The effort leading up to Super Bowl Sunday included more than 25 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and District Attorney's Offices, along with seven non-government organizations.

From January 23, 2019 to February 2, 2019, the operation's goal was to raise awareness about sex trafficking by proactively addressing that threat during the Super Bowl and events leading up to the Super Bowl. Of the 169 arrests, 26 people were alleged traffickers and 34 suspects were allegedly people attempting to engage in sex acts with minors. The youngest sex-trafficking victim rescued was 14 years old.

Not For Sale: Exclusive Coverage From Patch

  • Not For Sale: 21 Arrested In DeKalb Child Sex Trafficking Op
  • Not For Sale: 33 Arrested In Super Bowl Human Trafficking Sting
  • Not For Sale: Trafficking Survivor Brings Message Of Hope To ATL
  • Fighting Sex Trafficking As Super Bowl Nears
  • Removing The Physical Scars Of Human Trafficking
  • Suit Against Cobb Hotel Targets Sex Trafficking
  • Buses In Midtown Raise Sex Trafficking Awareness

(For more news like this, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app; download the free Patch Android app here.)

Patch Editor Dave Copeland contributed to this report.

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Not For Sale: Massage Parlors Flourish In Georgia (2024)


Is owning a massage parlor profitable? ›

A massage spa has a ~30% operating profit margin (EBITDA margin) after operating costs (salaries, facilities, etc.) have been incurred. Indeed, there are various recurring costs involved in running a massage spa.

How do you know if a massage parlor is sketchy? ›

The Indicators
  1. Any sexual or erotic services are provided, or they advertise on illicit websites.
  2. The providers are wearing very little clothing.
  3. They refuse to service females.
  4. You have to buzz in to get into the business.
  5. The providers are not allowed to handle their own cash.
  6. The providers speak very little to no English.

How much money do spa owners make? ›

Industry experts estimate the average day spa owner salary is $80,000 per year or more, with many owners earning more than $100,000 annually. MassageLuXe stands out from the average day spa. As an owner, you have a chance to build wealth.

What is the average revenue of a day spa? ›

Average spa revenue per visit

The average revenue per visit for spas was $97.50 following the global coronavirus pandemic. This was down from the average $99.50 in 2019, but the ~2% decrease can be attributed to the pandemic we all got to know so well over the last two years (#thankyounext).

What not to do at a massage parlor? ›

Here are some examples of what you, as the client, should never do! :
  • Don't joke if this is a “happy ending" massage or make any sexual comments. ...
  • Don't get sexually excited, it's inappropriate. ...
  • Don't break wind. ...
  • Avoid talking too much. ...
  • Don't use your phone. ...
  • Don't be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
May 29, 2021

Can you catch anything from a massage parlor? ›

Massage parlor disease risks

While there is little-to-no risk of HIV transmission without an exchange of bodily fluids, people who receive massages may be at risk of contracting other diseases. Some STIs, such as syphilis, genital herpes, and human papillomavirus, can spread through genital skin-to-skin contact .

What is a table shower? ›

A table shower, also known as a Vichy shower, is a spa treatment that involves lying on a waterproof table while multiple shower heads positioned above release streams of warm water over your body.

Is a massage business a good investment? ›

Opening your own clinic has the potential to be the most lucrative massage business model long-term. However, going this route requires a bigger financial investment than other options. It will also take some time to recoup your initial investment. Initial startup costs will vary based on size and location.

What are the monthly expenses for a massage business? ›

Monthly Expenses For A Start-Up Massage Business
  • Rent $500.
  • Massage Supplies $50.
  • Cleaning supplies $25.
  • ClinicSense - Lite $39.
  • Music Subscription $6.
  • Liability insurance $25.
  • Office supplies $20.
  • Rent $850.
Feb 13, 2024

What is a good profit margin for a massage business? ›

Determine Your Desired Profit: Decide how much profit you want to make per session. This should be a percentage of your total costs. A common starting point for many business owners is a profit margin of 20-30%. However, as a sole-practitioner or independent contractor, a profit margin of 50% or more is possible.

Where do massage therapists make the most money? ›

Alaska has the highest massage therapist salary of $69,287. Florida has the lowest massage therapist salary of $46,229. The national average salary for massage therapists is $53,935. The national hourly pay for massage therapists is $25.93.

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