President Joe Biden has called on Congress to limit certain extra charges that airlines and hotels impose on consumers, a move that could have a significant impact on the US casino land-based casino hospitality industry.
Speaking before a meeting of the White House Competition Committee, Biden suggested that Congress limit fees for airline seat assignments for families seeking to sit together, resort fees added to hotel bills, excessive service charges for concert and sporting event tickets, and fees for changing or cancelling internet, cable, or cellphone services.
Biden noted that hotel and casino resort fees “can be over $50 a night, when you check out.” This practice is particularly common in Las Vegas where casino resorts guests for the use of their facilities.
However, a spokesperson for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Curt Cashour, said 94% of hotels don’t charge resort fees. Of those that do charge a resorts fee, he said:
- “It covers unique and tangible amenities such as food and beverage credits, special events, access to pools and beaches, transportation and spa services.”
Currently Las Vegas resorts fees range from $25 to $50+ per night for stays at casino resorts in the city.
If the plan to remove these fees goes ahead, it could potentially mean an increase in hotel charges for casino resorts in Las Vegas. The average cost per night to stay in the city is around $137. However, this does not include resort fees which are usually added to a hotel’s accommodation bill at the end of a stay.
Biden also highlighted the rising cost of ticket fees after Democrats and Republicans on a Senate committee demanded more transparency. This followed a move by Ticketmaster to scrap a general-public sale for Taylor Swift concerts.
Separately, Biden spoke of a newly proposed regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This would limit credit-card late fees from $31 on average to $8.
Speaking of the practice of charging additional fees to airline customers, he noted:
- “Some airlines charge extra to pick your seat, including for parents who just want to sit next to their child on a plane. They charge extra — you don’t know that going in though — and it’s wrong.”
A spokesperson for Airlines for America, a trade group that represents the largest U.S. carriers, said its members do not charge for seating families together and that it is mostly budget airlines that do.