Hidden drink fees at Las Vegas Strip venues are causing an uproar online after the mandatory “service charges” are publicised. According to industry leaders, the latest fees are “discreetly attached” to elevate the actual cost generated by the resorts. Las Vegas locals and visitors are less than pleased about the growing expense of beverages. Especially, when tallied with spending on gambling and other activities at these locations.
Hundreds of people on Reddit, TripAdvisor and YouTube have commented on the scandalous fees. Reportedly, the influx of comments has drawn a lot of attention after two Las Vegas patrons shared their receipts from MGM and Sahara.
The receipts proved that a service charge was added to their cocktails. Unfortunately, MGM added fuel to the fire by responding on social media. They stated that: “This charge you’re seeing is a venue fee. It is not only applied for table service, but for bar service as well, and is being applied to every check-in at the venue”.
MGM Defends Drink Fees
In a further explanation, MGM claimed that drink fees apply to everything that keeps the “venue operationally running”. This reportedly includes “gaming maintenance of bar top games” as well as Wi-Fi and “lounge maintenance”. As a result, many patrons and reporters are questioning the resort fees patrons already pay to stay there.
Recently, two lawsuits were filed about service charges at the resorts by the Attorney Generals of Nebraska and DC. In the suits, complaints filed allege that hotels and casino resorts participate in “dip pricing”. Dip pricing is considered a scheme whereby a company advertises a rate and then incrementally increases the cost through mandatory charges.
Service Charges Could Discourage Visitors
Hidden, mandatory fees could negatively impact resorts by driving away prospective customers. Foreign tourists are already putting down the tipping culture and hidden costs as reasons never to return. A UK resident has spoken out about the costs, and many social media users agree with him. Some are even reconsidering their visits as a result.
More trouble is brewing as local visitors are equally discouraged by the new fees. Losing local support could further impact the Strip and revenues. As a new casino resort, Sahara is already struggling to get underway and the revelation of fees will likely see the new resort fold. So, how will other enterprises on the famous strip avoid the controversy?
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