Circa and affiliates sued over “junk fees” imposed on patrons to redeem comps
The downtown Las Vegas resort operator Circa Hospitality Group and subsidiaries are being sued in a class action, alleging that they neglected to disclose hidden fees, commonly known as “junk fees,” that were necessary for patrons to redeem comps provided through its loyalty players card program.
U.S. News cites examples of fees often considered to be junk fees include service charges for event tickets, resort fees at hotels, late payment fees for credit cards, airline family seating fees, termination fees for phone or internet service, document preparation fees for financial transactions, out-of-network ATM fees, checking account overdraft fees, restaurant “living wage” fees, online “convenience fees,” and many others.
In a lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court, a number of members of Circa's "Club One" loyalty program contend that they were falsely charged fees or taxes each time they tried to use free points to pay for food and other services at three connected hotels: Circa, Golden Gate, and The D.
More than 10,000 people, including those who visited the resorts and joined the Club One program, may become parties to the class action, according to the lawsuit.
Requests for comment regarding the complaint, which estimates damages of $3.75 million for the four years the comp program has been in existence, were not answered by Circa officials.
On behalf of multiple clients, attorneys from the Robert Eglet firn filed the case recently. The lawsuit names casino employees as well as the Golden Gate, D, and Circa resorts and Circa Hospitality Group.
The case further alleges that by dishonestly imposing bogus fees and penalties, the defendants regularly reduced the amount of comps that they had promised to the plaintiffs.
In one incident included in the lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs stated that he paid $23 in “comp dollars” for a lunch at Saginaw's Deli at Circa.
The lawsuit claimed that the patron was taken aback when he discovered that, in addition to the $23, the defendant's point-of-sale system had imposed a further $1.93 in fees, which was subtracted from his earned comp total. A copy of the receipt was included in the complaint filed with the court.
The six-count lawsuit makes claims for negligence, misrepresentation, conversion, unfair trade practices, and breach of implied covenant.
In addition to requesting class-action certification, the lawsuit also asks for an order compelling Circa to stop engaging in any illegal activity, a declaration that says Circa shouldn't deduct imaginary fees from consumers' earned comps and that the defendant used deceptive trade practices. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of actual, consequential, and punitive damages that will be decided at trial.
Many advantage players, who are frequently denied their previously-earned comps once a casino decides they are not the desirable patrons the casino originally believed them to be, are not surprised by this type of conduct by casino managers. Nevertheless, the seeming pettiness of the junk fees is striking even to them. Rebecca, a southern California resident who frequently plies her trade in Las Vegas and did not want her last name used, laughed and said, “How much cheaper can the casino get?” when told of the $1.93 in junk fees tacked onto the lunch at Circa.
“Circa faces class-action lawsuit over loyalty program” , Richard N. Velotta, lvrj.com, December 1, 2023.