MGM makes big Las Vegas Strip move visitors, and Biden, will hate

Las Vegas often offers hotel rooms at very low rates. 

Clearly that’s not the case for special events, but when nothing noteworthy is happening on the Strip, it’s not all that rare to find rooms at Caesars Entertainment or MGM Resorts International properties for under $50.

That’s partly because for resort casino operators, it’s more important to fill rooms than it is to maximize their room rates. And that, in turn, is partly because when a resort packs people in, those people spend money in the casino, in restaurants and on entertainment.

But that’s not the only reason the resorts post low room rates. For most people booking at Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) – Get Free Report and MGM Resorts, the advertised rates aren’t the actual rates they pay.

Both companies also charge most customers resort fees that jack up the advertised prices. In some cases, those fees — which ostensibly cover WiFi, pools and other amenities — cost more than what people pay for their rooms in the first place.

Related: Biden Takes On Las Vegas Strip Resorts Over Practice Hotel Guests Hate

It’s a shady practice because the fees are not optional. You pay them whether you use the amenities or not, and the charges are often a surprise to people who thought they were paying one rate but actually have to pay another.

And it’s a practice President Joe Biden has targeted for criticism. But that has not stopped MGM Resorts  (MGM) – Get Free Report from raising resort fees at its Las Vegas Strip resort casinos.

MGM’s Luxor will raise its fees.

Image source: Shutterstock

Biden goes after resort fees

Biden has tasked the Federal Trade Commission with cracking down on hidden fees. He spoke aggressively about those efforts in October 2023.

“Last week, the Federal Trade Commission started work on a rule to crack down on unfair and deceptive fees across all industries, fees that were never disclosed — never disclosed,” the president said. “And there was no way to avoid the fee, like processing fees for concert tickets or like resort fees.

“When you think you’re paying one price to book a hotel, you only find out after checking out that there’s a resort fee you never heard about that’s added to your bill.”

More Las Vegas:

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The American Gaming Association, which counts Strip operators MGM, Caesars, Wynn  (WYNN) – Get Free Report and the new owner of the Mirage, Seminole Hard Rock Gaming, as members, took issue with the president’s planned crackdown.

“The AGA contends that fees charged by our members are neither hidden nor without value, and therefore should be excluded from any future rulemaking by the” FTC, the trade group’s chief executive, Bill Miller, wrote to the agency earlier this month, reported.

MGM raises Las Vegas Strip resort fees

MGM quietly raised the resort fees at its Las Vegas Strip properties on Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. It shared the new rates with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, but did not say what the previous rates were.

$37 a night at Luxor and Excalibur.$42 at New York-New York, NoMad Las Vegas, Park MGM and The Signature at MGM Grand.$45 at MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and the Delano.

$50 at Aria, Vdara, Bellagio and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

MGM also changed the period in which people can cancel their rooms at no charge. It previously had a 48-hour cancellation policy and now it requires cancellation 72 hours before a planned stay.

These changes are being made just before Las Vegas hosts the Super Bowl, an event likely to sell out most, if not all, hotel rooms on the Strip. That event will be followed by March Madness, another event that generally packs Las Vegas hotels. 

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