Las Vegas Resort Operators File For Dismissal in Price Collusion Lawsuit

Spread the Word:

Four of the biggest casino operators in Las Vegas asked a US court last week to dismiss a lawsuit involving hotel room price-fixing, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, and Treasure Island are all accused of using a shared data system to artificially inflate room prices from 2019 onwards.

Between them, the four companies involved operate more than 25 of the 33 resorts on the Vegas Strip.

This lawsuit was originally filed back in January 2023, and the plaintiffs are two previous Vegas visitors, backed by Seattle-based lawyers Hagen Berman.

The defense’s counterargument is that the lawsuit is spurious, as it does not provide enough details or evidence that any organized conspiracy took place. They see that as grounds for dismissal.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers were not surprised at the latest motion to dismiss the case.

“The defendants in this case will attempt every trick in the book to hedge their bets. But we believe the cards are stacked against them,” Hagens Berman partner Steve Berman told the Review Journal.

What Stays in Vegas

The suit maintains that the casino’s deployment of a company called Rainmaker, who help them share room pricing and supply information, results in unfair and anti-competitive market practices that harm customers.

Rainmaker and its software supposedly helped “collect and share data between Vegas hotel competitors to unlawfully raise prices of hotel rooms,” according to allegations from Hagen Berman.

“What happens in Vegas will no longer stay in Vegas. We intend to expose the under-the-table deals perpetrated by these Vegas hotels, and we intend to hold them accountable,” they stated.

Basic Questions

For their part, the defendants’ various lawyers have stuck to their guns.

‘Plaintiffs fail to answer any of the “basic questions” that the Ninth Circuit requires to plausibly allege an antitrust conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act—that is, “who, did what, to whom (or with whom), where, and when?’ said the preliminary statement in their dismissal motion.

One of the plaintiffs’ core points is that the Las Vegas hotel rooms are prohibitively more expensive now than they were before 2019.

The resort operators claim this is all due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and increased demand.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs have pointed out that Cendyn, the company behind Rainmaker, has repeatedly advertised its services in a way that backs up the price-fixing allegations.

For example, they quoted a testimonial that saw a hotel’s revenue increase by 70%, despite only a 50% occupancy increase over that period. They also quoted a Rainmaker employee who said, “The ultimate goal is not chasing after occupancy growth, but instead maximizing profits across all revenue streams.”

Is this damning evidence of a conspiracy between supposedly competing Las Vegas resort operators to unfairly increase pricing on rooms? Or simply companies efficiently researching their competitors to set a fair market price?

The courts will decide the answer to that.

Related News

March 8, 2024

A Basketball Dynasty in Las Vegas

The HBO show Winning Time was a little loose with the facts when it told the 1979 story of then-UNLV head basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian spurning an opportunity to coach […]

March 7, 2024

Dan Rodimer, Ex-Wrestler and Congressional Candidate, Charged with Las Vegas Casino Murder

Daniel Rodimer (pictured), a two-time congressional candidate and former WWE wrestler, has turned himself in to Las Vegas Police on charges he murdered Christopher Tapp, 42, in a Resorts World […]

March 7, 2024

A’s Release Las Vegas Stadium Renderings, Leave Questions Unanswered

The biggest remaining hole for the Oakland A’s planned relocation was filled this week, sort of. For months, there has been controversy swirling around the stadium planned for the current […]

March 4, 2024

Wynn Resorts Sues Fontainebleau Las Vegas Over Alleged Staff Poaching

Wynn Las Vegas is going forward with a lawsuit against rival Sin City luxury resort Fontainebleau Las Vegas, court filings released this week reveal. The two Nevada casinos are in […]

Stay Ahead of the Game

Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.