It's no secret that the Las Vegas economy has been a mess since the recession started. And with casinos being the big draw for tourists, gaming companies have focused on keeping their guests closer to home rather than enjoying some of Sin City's more risque venues.

Which explains why the Las Vegas club that Rick's Cabaret (Nasdaq: RICK) bought just before the economy melted down turned into a money pit for investors. And since Rick's doesn't see MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) or Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) letting go of its customers easily, the company doesn't see a bright future in Sin City.

I can't blame Rick's for seeing clouds in the future of Las Vegas. This week, I wondered if Las Vegas was becoming the next Atlantic City after gaming revenue took a turn for the worst. It seems like an ideal market for Rick's, but sometimes Las Vegas leaves you with more regret than profit.

Shareholders do a dance
However, there could actually be some good news for Rick's shareholders. The rest of the business is on a comeback, and any club sale would be a boost to profit despite the blow to revenue. In the first quarter sales at existing clubs, excluding Las Vegas, were up a healthy 8.25%. A loss on the Las Vegas club would also help reduce tax expenses in the future, so it doesn't turn out all bad for shareholders.

Rick's stock trades at just 10.4 times 2011 earnings projections -- projections the company crushed the last two quarters. This could be one of the best buys of the sin stocks I follow. For now I'm going to give the company a thumbs up on My CAPS page, but I may be willing to "make it rain" on Rick's if I see another solid quarter.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.