Nevada's Delegation to Congress Stands Up for Casino Resort Costs

Nevada's congressional representatives are supporting casinos that charge resort fees following President Biden's comments on junk fees last week.

Jun 11, 2024
2 min read
President Joe Biden gives his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, 2023. Biden discussed the...
President Joe Biden gives his State of the Union address on Feb. 7, 2023. Biden discussed the ongoing problem of “junk fees” in online pricing, something the president wants to eradicate to provide consumers with more transparent pricing. The Nevada congressional delegation says most of its casinos and resorts are already informing customers how much they’ll spend for each night stayed.


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Nevada's Delegation to Congress Stands Up for Casino Resort Costs

Nevada's representatives in Congress are standing up for their state's casinos that charge resort fees, after President Joe Biden criticized hidden costs in his State of the Union address.

Biden has been keen on clamping down on hidden fees that are added on top of advertised rates.

Resort fees are widespread in Las Vegas and across Nevada. The daily charges can go up to $45 per night, with tax, and cover amenities such as in-room Wi-Fi, free local calling, fitness center access, and boarding pass printing.

Visitors to Las Vegas often find that their stay is significantly more expensive than the casinos' websites initially suggested.

During his speech, Biden said: “I know how frustrating it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it - not anymore. We're going to ban surprise resort fees that hotels charge on your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren't even resorts.”

Those against resort and other hidden fees argue that federal regulations are necessary to protect consumers from unknowingly spending more on their hotel stays and entertainment.

Many online ticket brokers for concerts and events add high processing fees and other charges at the end of the buying process. Biden also mentioned that airlines use this tactic to trick customers into paying more.

Nevada's Defense

Nevada's delegation in Congress reacted swiftly to Biden's promise to remove junk fees. The state's senators and representatives say they mostly agree with the president's aim for more transparent pricing, but claim that most Nevada casinos and resorts are not the issue.

"I'm confident the president knows that Las Vegas resorts are true resorts," commented Nevada's Democratic US Rep. Dina Titus. "I support and share President Biden's view that customers need protection from outrageous 'junk fees,' and I welcome efforts by the Federal Trade Commission and hotel operators to ensure pricing transparency."

Nevada's elected officials maintain that Nevada's casinos have become more transparent in their pricing in recent years. MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, which operate most of the Strip's casinos, both show the total resort fee cost before customers input their details and payment.

"I will ensure this administration's proposals remain focused on eliminating surprise fees," added Nevada's Democratic US Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. "Not punishing our world-class hotels and casinos for fees they already disclose upfront."

$3B in Annual Fees

New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality estimates that American casinos and hotels collected over $3 billion in resort fees last year. This controversial practice allows lodging establishments to attract customers with low room rates, only to later reveal during the booking process, or even upon check-in, that the advertised rates were not entirely upfront.

At the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, for instance, a two-night stay for the weekend is displayed on the casino resort's website as costing $385 per night. But when you click the "Book" button, the website updates to show the total cost of the room coming to $975.08 for the Friday to Sunday stay - or $487.54 per night.

The total cost includes a $45 nightly resort fee, which with tax, amounts to $102.04 for the weekend getaway.

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