LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Could we soon see the end to resort fees? This week President Joe Biden said he’s taking aim at hidden “junk fees,” including those charged at Strip resorts by ordering the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

In Las Vegas, the majority of Strip resorts charge an average resort fee of about $40 a night.

President Biden also said his administration would target “hidden fees” on concert and airline tickets and even bank overdraft fees that it said can weaken the economy.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden arrives on Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Federal Trade Commission voted to begin a rule process to prevent ‘junk fees,’ but there has been no word on when, or how this will actually impact the Las Vegas valley.

Local experts such as David Schwartz gaming historian at UNLV said if the change is made, resorts would likely raise their rates.

“I think it will provide more transparency in pricing which is usually a good thing, and it will just give people a better idea of exactly what they are getting into when they go to book,” Schwartz said.

8 News Now spoke with tourists on the Las Vegas Strip such as Mike Haske who said more upfront pricing would change how they book vacations.

“They sell you the $8 a night or $20 a night and then it’s “Oh by the way you got the resort fee,” Haske said.

Many people 8 News Now spoke with said they choose to stay in Airbnb’s to avoid resort fees on the Strip. For the most part, hosts can not charge a resort fee unless they manage multiple properties and the company has approved it.

On its website, the White House listed examples of what it believes classify as “hidden” or “junk fees.”

Defining “junk” fees

  • Mandatory fees that often hide the full price – Some sellers publish a low price and then add mandatory fees later, at the “back-end” of the buying process or when a consumer tries to terminate the service. An example is the “service fees” added to the cost of a ticket to a concert or sporting event.
  • Surprise fees that consumers learn about after purchase – Surprise fees that consumers do not expect – and which may not be mandatory – similarly make it hard to comparison shop and can burden household finances. Surprise hospital bills from out-of-network doctors at in-network hospitals and airline  “family seating fees” are prominent examples.
  • Exploitative or predatory fees. Excessive fees that target consumers who have limited alternative options – because they are locked into a product or service, or are otherwise economically vulnerable – can likewise impose a financial burden. As the CFPB explains, a sign of exploitative fees is that they “far exceed the marginal cost of the service they purport to cover.” Bank overdraft fees, which greatly exceed the bank’s cost of credit, and surprise “termination fees” are leading examples.
  • Fraudulent fees. Some fees involve outright fraud or misrepresentations on the part of the seller. An example is advertising a “no fee” bank account that in practice carries significant fees.