Pretty Soon Only High Rollers Can Afford Rising Vegas Resort Costs

Written By Martin Derbyshire on March 2, 2018

Several major casinos on the Las Vegas Strip continue to make it more expensive to gamble by raising controversial resort fees and parking rates.

MGM Resorts International became the latest operator to hike the price of a visit to most of its Las Vegas Strip properties, raising resort fees at 10 of its 13 casino hotels this week.

MGM’s mid-range properties, including MGM Grand, The Mirage, and Mandalay Bay, will see resort fees go up up by $2 to $37. Lower-end properties including Luxor and Excalibur will see resort fees raised by $5 to $35. Plus, resort fees at Circus Circus on the North end of the Strip are going up $2 to $30.

Resort fees at MGM properties including Vdara, Bellagio, and Aria are not going up.

Casino resort fees keep rising

Caesars Entertainment also raised resort fees at many of it’s Las Vegas Strip properties March 1. Resort fees went up $5 to $35 a night at Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s and The Linq. The fees were also raised $2 to $37 a night at Cromwell, Paris and Planet Hollywood. Plus, resort fees were hiked to $39 at Caesars Palace.

This marked the third year in a row Caesars Entertainment has raised resort fees. Las Vegas Sands has also increased resort fees at its properties twice over the past two years.

Resort fees have become a source of controversy because they can be misleading. Although unavoidable, the fees are not often included in published room rates. Particularly on internet booking sites, where they may not appear until after a room has been selected.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports attorneys general in 46 states, as well as the District of Columbia, are currently investigating the legality of imposing resort fees. Nevada is not among those states.

Additionally, the newspaper also claims a class-action lawsuit has been filed against several Las Vegas Strip properties in regards to internet fees.

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Free casino parking is a thing of the past

Free parking was once a staple perk of the Las Vegas Strip casino experience.

MGM changed that in 2016 when it became the first group of properties to begin charging visitors for parking. Caesars Entertainment properties soon followed suit.

Now, both are raising the parking rates as well. MGM, announced in January it was increasing parking fees at 11 of its 12 Strip properties.

Self-parking at Caesars Palace went up by $2 from $10 to $12 for 1 to 4 hours March 1. Parking rates were also raised at:

  • Cromwell
  • Paris
  • Bally’s
  • Harrah’s
  • The Linq

Self-parking is still free at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino just off the Strip. Plus, Caesars properties do not charge to park for 60 minutes or less.

The move to these fees coincided with casino resorts starting to earn a majority of revenue outside of gambling.

With 70 percent or more of Las Vegas Strip resort revenues now being derived from restaurants, shops, shows, and nightlife venues, the properties are no longer offering free parking or waiving resort fees to try to attract gamblers the same way they once did.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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