US District Court Consolidates Class-Action Claims Against Six Atlantic City Casinos
A federal court in New Jersey has mandated the merging of related lawsuits against several Atlantic City casinos alleging years of unlawfully raising hotel room prices.
A plaintiff requested to combine three class action lawsuits against six casinos in AC and their parent businesses for allegedly “conspiring” to increase room prices with a provider of hotel booking software, and US District Court Judge Karen Williams allowed the request.
Since 2018, the claimants have accused the casinos and the tech company of breaking antitrust rules and pushing up hotel prices.
Court Documents Mention a Tech Business and Casinos in AC
Defendants include Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Hard Rock International, and Cendyn Group, a Florida-based hospitality technology business that offers hotel owners room-booking software.
The businesses have not publicly addressed the suggested class-action lawsuits.
Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, and Tropicana Atlantic City are the three casinos Caesars owns and runs along the Jersey Shore. Caesars Entertainment ran Bally’s Atlantic City until selling the Boardwalk resort in 2020, which explains why its name also shows up in the lawsuits.
The city’s highest-grossing facility, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, is under the management of MGM. The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is ranked second, behind Borgata.
According to court records, the casinos together have held between 72% and 80% of the market since June 2018. On June 27, 2018, Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort (which was not mentioned in any complaints) both opened their doors.
According to the plaintiffs, a class action may include tens of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. They are requesting a jury trial, unspecified compensatory damages, and triple damages under federal antitrust statutes.
The lawsuit is comparable to one that is still pending in Nevada, where a complaint against Las Vegas casino hotels was made. The Nevada lawsuit has been urged to be dismissed by the casino operators.