LAS VEGAS — It seems the one thing visitors to Las Vegas can’t avoid these days is fees.
Most people go inside Las Vegas Strip casinos expecting to lose a little bit of their hard-earned money. But what a lot of them don’t expect is to order a couple of drinks and a nice dinner and then see that a few extra dollars have been added onto the bill before they even calculate the tip.
“I mean, it’s all about making money outside of the casino,” said Anthony Curtis.” It’s all about, and I hate to say it, but it’s all about gouging the customer.”
Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor which tracks business trends in Las Vegas.
He said that extra charge is a concession and franchise fee and small number of Las Vegas Strip clubs and restaurants have been charging them for a while.
“More and more places are going to do it because so far they’ve been able to get away with it. So, they will continue to do it.”
Curtis said concession and franchise fees are the venue’s way of passing on their costs to operate in various casinos to the customer. And they can add up to as much a 40 to 50 cents a drink.
“So, if you are having two or three drinks, you’re looking at another buck-fifty,” he said.
They flew under the radar for a while but now customers are starting to notice them in addition to rising resort and parking fees.
While some resorts have recently rolled back paid parking due to the backlash; the resort fee issue has sparked lawsuits against major hotel chains. And lawmakers in Nebraska and Texas have filed legislation to force hotels be transparent in their pricing.
Curtis said the good news is you are unlikely to be hit with these types of fees at places local frequent.
But as for everyone else…
“Casinos will try it wherever they can,” he said. “They will charge here. And charge there. And continue to do it until whenever the customer says they have had enough!”
Curtis said it all depends on the establishment, but some people have managed to get the fees removed simply by asking the server.