American casino operator MGM Resorts International is reportedly facing a lawsuit over allegations that it has earned hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the last decade by charging ‘deceptive’ resort fees.
According to a Wednesday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, the action was filed last month by the Travelers United non-profit travel advocacy group amid claims that the casino giant has been violating the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by not clearly advertising the price of its rooms.
The newspaper reported that MGM Resorts International is responsible for approximately 30 properties in the United States and Macau including the 308-room MGM National Harbor, which is located only a short drive from the District of Columbia. The plaintiff is purportedly alleging that the Nevada-based operator has been engaging in ‘drip pricing’ by not clearly advertising its daily room rates and instead making money through hidden fees such as those surreptitiously charged for high-speed Internet access or unlimited local and toll-free telephone calls.
Lauren Wolfe is representing Travelers United in the legal action and she reportedly used a Wednesday statement to contend that MGM Resorts International moreover covertly charges guests for the ability to access in-venue fitness centers and print airline boarding passes. She purportedly furthermore explained that these additional duties are a fixture at every one of the Las Vegas-headquartered operator’s American properties and can often add up to $45 onto a daily hotel bill.
Wolfe’s statement reportedly read…
“It is time to end the abhorrent practice of illegal resort fees by the hotel industry. All mandatory hotel fees must be included in the advertised price in order to be legal and MGM Resorts International’s deceptive practice of hotel resort fees must end.”
The lawsuit from Travelers United reportedly also asserts that MGM Resorts International did not lower the price of its resort fees last year despite reducing or eliminating the range of amenities on offer as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. The action purportedly alleges that this shows ‘there is no correlation’ between these services and the rate of a room and that this practice allows the firm to ‘lie about the price of the advertised room.’
The newspaper reported that the lawsuit from Travelers United aims to compel MGM Resorts International to include all mandatory fees in the advertised price of its rooms moving forward and cease charging resort fees on comped accommodation. On this latter point and Wolfe purportedly proclaimed that casino firms ‘lead in the charging of complimentary rooms that are not actually complimentary due to resort fees’ despite this practice being widely considered as illegal.