Las Vegas Casino Resorts Face Appeal in Price-Fixing Lawsuit

Estimated read time 2 min read

The four major Las Vegas Strip casino resorts have not put that pesky price-fixing lawsuit behind them.

This was the image AI rendered to represent price-fixing on the Las Vegas Strip. Note the misspelled “Welcome to” on the sign. (Image: ChatGPT)

A 2023 class action suit accused Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Treasure Island of colluding to artificially inflate the price of their hotel rooms.

The suit was dismissed twice, most recently last month. But its latest dismissal, by US District Chief Judge Miranda Du, has been appealed.

Accepted by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the case is now regarded as part of a wave of algorithmic-pricing antitrust cases that the U.S. Justice Department has called a new “frontier” for price-fixing.

It is the first of these cases to reach an appeals court.

A Matter of Anti-Trust

According to the original lawsuit, Gibson v. Cendyn, the four casino companies — which control 26 of the 33 resorts on or near the Las Vegas Strip — violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by colluding to boost their hotel room rates.

The lawsuit claims this was accomplished with Rainmaker, data-sharing software manufactured by Cendyn of Boca Raton, Fla., whose name appears first as a defendant.

The resort companies deny any wrongdoing, claiming that Rainmaker only offered recommendations that they were always free not to follow.

Du sided with them. She didn’t think the lawsuit clearly showed an agreement to conspire to set price points between the operators.

“Plaintiffs’ allegations that Defendants entered into a tacit agreement to fix prices still have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible despite the multitude of additional allegations,” her dismissal read. “This case remains a relatively novel antitrust theory premised on algorithmic pricing going in search of factual allegations that could support it.”

Next up, the appeals court will accept submissions from both sides, as well as from groups with an interest in the case. A three-judge panel will then hear arguments, with a decision likely next year.

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