Las Vegas Casinos Getting Creative with Hidden Charges

Las Vegas is known as a major entertainment hub in the United States. Millions of people travel to the region on a regular basis to check out the casinos, dining, entertainment and everything else Sin City has to offer. Because of the tourism business, casinos try to find new ways to attract visitors to continue to increase their revenues. Not long ago, resorts came under fire and many faced legal action based on high resort fees. It seems now that casinos are finding new ways to charge their visitors more, but in unexpected or rather ‘hidden’ ways.

Service Charges

According to, casino properties locate don the Las Vegas Strip are now including mandatory service charges for drinks. This charge is being listed as a ‘venue fee’. A recent report revealed that a visitor to the Park MGM was charged $38 for two drinks. The bill from the Mama Rabbit Mezcal and Tequila Bar had a sales tax of $3.14 and a service charge of $1.90.

It is common for service charges to exist and casinos try to justify whey they are charging more for patrons to do business at their establishment. MGM Resorts responded to the question of a service charge by calling it a venue fee, which is applied to table service and bar service bills.

The fee is applied to basically everything and according to MGM is to keep the venue ‘operationally running’. The operations include bar top games, lounge maintenance and Wi-Fi service.

Running up the Bill

For patrons visiting Las Vegas casinos, the ‘venue fee’ might go unnoticed. If you are like most people in Vegas, if you are having a drink, you will probably have several. You may pay your bill and be a bit too inebriated to notice any extra fees you are paying for. Someone who stays several days in Las Vegas may pay hundreds of dollars in fees if you consider how much money is being spent on food, drinks and other forms of entertainment.

The report of the new charges has many double checking their receipts and being more careful when it comes to spending in Las Vegas.

Over the past few years, resorts have tried many ways to bring in extra fees to earn more from Las Vegas tourists. It wasn’t long ago that several major resorts decided to charge for parking which led to a huge uproar from consumers. For decades, parking was free and patrons were not happy to see this change.

Thankfully, the parking charge did not last long and most venues went back to offering free services or found some way to make it up to regular members or reward members.

It will be interesting to see if any other new charges are found at other resorts in Sin City after this recent report. It seems the casinos are trying any way they can to bring in extra funds from unsuspecting visitors.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.