Hyatt Hotels Corporation, one of the largest hotel chains related to Tribal, as well as commercial gambling operators around the United States, is the target of a new lawsuit filed in Texas by Attorney General Ken Paxton. The lawsuit alleges that Hyatt, which outside Texas operates hotels around the world, breached consumer protection laws in the state.
Allegedly, the company marketed hotel rooms at lower prices, which aren’t available to the public. A statement by the Attorney General alleged that Hyatt violated “Texas consumer protection laws by marketing hotel rooms at prices that were not available to the public as advertised.”
Low Room Rates Increase with Additional Fees
Attorney General Paxton claimed that customers in Texas were misled by the artificially low hotel room prices. Additionally, he claimed that the aforementioned practice was in breach of the established regulations in the state. Paxton called the advertising of unavailable low rates “deceptive practices” and urged the activity to stop immediately. “I will not stand by while Texas consumers are taken advantage of by Hyatt, or by any hotel chain that tries to get away with charging illegal hidden fees,” he said.
“Hyatt’s lack of transparency regarding hotel room prices has misled consumers and violated Texas law.“
Attorney General Ken Paxton
The lawsuit alleged that the illicit practice involved the advertising of low hotel room rates, which were then inflated by unavoidable and mandatory fees such as destination, amenity or resort fees for example.
Those extra costs were added on top of the room rates, making the initially lower price increase. Additionally, Hyatt allegedly charged some of its customers with such fees, regardless if the amenities were used or not.
“Even when these fees were eventually disclosed, they were done so in a manner that was unlikely to alert consumers that the initial rate that attracted them was not, in fact, the actual price of the room,“
adds a statement by Paxton
The legal action comes at a time when lawmakers in the state are trying to expand the gambling options available for customers in Texas. In light of those efforts, the Kickapoo Tribe, which operates the Lucky Eagle Casino, confirmed it fears bankruptcy.
Recently, it warned statewide gambling expansion can significantly impact the Tribe’s income. With that in mind, the gambling expansion in Texas is yet to gain traction as it needs to first secure a majority in the House and the Senate, followed by a positive vote from the state’s voters.