Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to illegally fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices.

The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges that casino giants MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, along with Treasure Island and Wynn Resorts, share information with a company that used pricing algorithms to “maximize marketwide prices.”

It accuses the resorts and Rainmaker Group Unlimited, a revenue management company owned by Cendyn Group, of “algorithmic-driven price-fixing … at the expense of consumers and in violation of antitrust laws.”

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The Associated Press sent an email to Rainmaker seeking comment. Michael Bennett, a representative of Boca Raton, Florida-based Cendyn, declined to comment.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Richard Gibson and Heriberto Valiente by attorneys from the law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle and Berkeley, California.

It seeks class status and unspecified monetary damages for “tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands” of people based on alleged antitrust violations of the federal Sherman Act.

A woman watches the fountains at the Bellagio hotel-casino along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas on Nov. 19, 2020.

MGM Resorts, which operates properties including Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, responded Thursday with a statement calling the lawsuit “meritless.”

“The claims against MGM Resorts are factually inaccurate, and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously,” it said.

Wynn Resorts declined to comment. The Associated Press left messages seeking comment from representatives of Treasure Island and Caesars Entertainment.

Caesars Entertainment operates Las Vegas Strip properties including

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OnCore Golf joins forces with Epson as tour kicks off

Investing in women’s sports is as important as the number of dimples on a golf ball. 

Just ask the folks at Buffalo-based OnCore Golf, a golf ball maker founded in 2011. 

The company just announced it is involved in a partnership that has the potential to be a game changer for the company. OnCore has been named the official golf ball of the LPGA’s qualifying tour, the Epson Tour. 

Epson’s stop at Pinehaven is scheduled for July 21-23 at the Twin Bridges Championship. The Capital Region is the longest-running stop on the Epson Tour, previously known as Symetra and Futures tours. The Tour itself is entering its 43rd season. 

The 22-tournament schedule will take the Epson Tour to 14 states and offer more than $4.9 million in total prize money, for an average purse size of $223,000, both tour records. 

OnCore CEO Keith Blakely said Epson officials approached his company about establishing the partnership. 

“We are putting our VeroX1 on the practice range because we are confident our ball will give players the tour performance they deserve,” Blakely said in a phone interview. 

In addition to supplying driving range balls, OnCore plans to attend the events to explain the technology behind the ball and its advantages on the tee.

“I’ve been told that we will not believe how much attention these women will pay to the sponsors who do something for the tour because by and large they feel ignored,” Blakely said. 

“My hope is that there will be an observable performance advantage now for these players on the practice range. And getting them engaged in a conversation about the technology will help them learn this isn’t just another marketing ploy.  Hopefully in the end we will be able to expand our community of golfers playing our ball in competition,”

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British actress, ‘The Queen’ star was 89

In this file photo dated Oct. 18, 2007, Sylvia Syms looks on at Buckingham after collecting her OBE from Queen Elizabeth II, in London. Actress Sylvia Syms, who starred in classic British films including “Ice Cold in Alex” and “Victim,” has died, her family said Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.

LONDON — Actress Sylvia Syms, who starred in classic British films including “Ice Cold in Alex” and “Victim,” has died, her family said Friday. She was 89.

Syms’ children said she “died peacefully” on Friday at Denville Hall, a London retirement home for actors and entertainers.

“She has lived an amazing life and gave us joy and laughter right up to the end,” children Beatie and Ben Edney, said in a statement. “Just yesterday we were reminiscing together about all our adventures. She will be so very missed.”

Born in London in 1934, Syms became a British cinema stalwart, appearing in many of the best-remembered British movies of the 1950s and 60s.

She starred opposite John Mills in World War II adventure “Ice Cold in Alex” in 1958 and appeared the next year in rock musical “Expresso Bongo” with Laurence Harvey and Cliff Richard. She played the wife of Dirk Bogarde’s closeted gay lawyer in the 1961 thriller “Victim,” the first British film to deal openly with homosexuality.

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In this file photo dated July 1, 1957, Sylvia Syms prepares to leave London Airport for Berlin to attend the Film Festival, in which her picture 'Woman in a Dressing Gown' is being shown as the official British entry. Actress Sylvia Syms, who starred in classic British films including “Ice Cold in Alex” and “Victim,” has died, her family said Friday, Jan. 27, 2023.

Other notable films in a career that stretched over seven decades included 1974’s Cold War drama “The Tamarind Seed,” with Julie Andrews and Omar Sharif.

Syms played British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1991 TV film “Thatcher: The Final Days,” and appeared as the Queen Mother Elizabeth — mother of Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth II — in Stephen Frears’ Academy Award-winning 2006 film “The Queen.”

The following year, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the real queen at Buckingham Palace.

Syms had a recurring role on the BBC soap opera “EastEnders” between 2007 and 2010, and continued to perform in film and television well into her 80s.


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Las Vegas Strip hotels conspired to raise prices, lawsuit says

Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a <a href=class action lawsuit says.” title=”Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a class action lawsuit says.” loading=”lazy”/

Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a class action lawsuit says.

Visitors who’ve rented rooms on the Las Vegas Strip within the last four years have filed a class action lawsuit against four of the largest gaming and hospitality companies in the city, saying that the hotels engaged in a price-fixing scheme to inflate room rates, according to lawyers.

The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 25, says that 90% of hotels on the strip use a revenue management platform called Rainmaker, which has an algorithm that recommends future, room-specific prices to hotels.

Rather than encouraging hotels to fill all of their rooms, Rainmaker focuses on helping hotels maximize their profits at the expense of consumers, the lawsuit says.

“In a competitive market, any empty hotel room is lost revenue, so a hotel operator would try to fill each hotel room by granting concessions or lowering prices,” the lawsuit says. “By contrast, on Rainmaker Group’s recommendations and as an integral part of the conspiracy, Hotel Operators kept prices high and some rooms empty, knowing their co-conspirators would not undercut these supracompetitive prices.”

A spokesperson for Cendyn Group, Rainmaker’s parent company, declined to comment.

Unlike sites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, which display current pricing and allow consumers to compare rates but don’t influence how hotels set their prices, Rainmaker uses its own algorithms to recommend future prices to hotels, and all the hotels that use it adopt the “same future pricing strategy,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm seeking to represent consumers

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Take a bilingual tour of Tucson with this middle school teacher | to do

Leer en español

El Tiradito Wishing Shrine in the city’s Barrio Viejo neighborhood, south of the Tucson Convention Center, is said to be a sanctuary dedicated to a sinful man.

You can find candles constantly burning at the site, 420 S. Main Ave., and little holes in the walls filled with letters from visitors. People leave offerings like food, teddy bears and art.

Legend has it that a man involved in a love triangle died on that spot after an altercation about 150 years ago.

El Tiradito is just one of the many places Priscilla Terán shows visitors on her “Tucson Behind the Scenes” tour.

Terán wears many hats, mainly as a bilingual middle school teacher, teaching English language arts, but also as a translator, bilingual wedding officiant and a tour guide.

Terán’s tours, which can be booked through Airbnb here, originally were something she did for friends visiting from out of town, showing them places around Tucson that she thought were historic.

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One of the sites included in Priscilla Terán’s tours of Tucson is the El Tiradito Wishing Shrine. It is said that the man who is buried there, who is not a saint, died fighting for the love of a woman.

“Whenever we go on vacation I like to take (my kids) on a tour, to go to museums, to learn something about the city we are visiting,” Terán said. “How cool is it that someone local can tell you about their own city and show you about their own city.”

In 2019, Terán was vacationing in Hawaii with her two kids, waiting for a local tour guide to arrive when she had the idea to do her own tours in Tucson. Though there are local biking

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Acclaimed narrative adventure Road 96 is getting a musical prequel

Road 96, the acclaimed narrative adventure from developer Digixart, is getting a prequel, and it’s coming to Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC on 4th April.

As a quick refresher, the original Road 96 served up procedural road trip adventure – set during a long, hot summer in the mid-90s – in which players hitchhiked across the ever-changing authoritarian nation of Petria in an attempt to reach the border and start a new life. We liked it a lot at Eurogamer, awarding it a Recommended badge.

Its newly announced prequel, officially titled Road 96: Mile 0, rewinds the clock just a little bit further to tell a tale set just prior to the events of the first game. This time, players can explore White Sands, described as Petria’s only luxurious community, switching between protagonists Zoe and Kaito – two teenagers from significantly different backgrounds.

Road 96: Mile 0 – Announcement Trailer.

“Their journey in Road 96: Mile 0 will challenge their friendship and everything they believe in,” teases Digixart. “They say money doesn’t buy happiness, nor friendship. These teens are dreamers and they are going to learn where they belong. Will they remain friends?”

While narrative is once again a focus in Road 96: Mile 0, it deviates from its predecessor by introducing playable musical segments, pulling players into the psychedelic inner worlds of Zoe and Kaito. You’ll find glimpses of these in Digixart’s newly released announcement trailer.

Road 96: Mile 0 launches for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC (including Steam) on 4th April.

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Why Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Will Probably Be The Final Adventure For Patrick Stewart’s Title Character

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is just around the corner, and while we know a good deal about what to expect from this upcoming season, we’re still in the dark about where this series will leave most of The Next Generation‘s beloved characters. While I can’t predict the fates of every returning character, like Geordi, Beverly and Worf, I do have a pretty good feeling about where things will end up for Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. It seems fated that while other characters may continue to live on after this series, Picard will not. 

I could be completely off base, and I will note that I have no insider knowledge of what to expect this season. With that said, I have a few key things for readers and Star Trek fans to consider, all of which point to the fact that this series might’ve always been pointing toward the death of one of Star Trek‘s greatest characters. 

Jean-Luc Picard in Picard on Paramount+

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Picard Has Frequently Teased Jean-Luc’s Death The Past Two Seasons

It may not be too hard for some to assume Jean-Luc Picard will die at the end of Star Trek: Picard, and that could be because he’s almost died twice now in two seasons. In fact, Picard’s body technically died in Season 1, which led to his consciousness being transferred over to a Synth shell indistinguishable from a normal human body. It was a bit of a silly twist in hindsight, but it did take care of that terminal illness the character was first diagnosed with in The Next Generation

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 once again put Jean-Luc Picard’s life in peril, as he was put into a coma after being hit by a car. Again, he ultimately pulled through and lived to fight another day,

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Thrills! Spills! Adventure! Intrigue! This film has all that and a local tie, too

Ten years after World War II, the lone survivor of a war crime goes Nazi-hunting in South America with one particular target in mind.

What could possibly go wrong?

If you like thrills, adventures and a healthy dose of plot twists, you might want to check out “Condor’s Nest.”

It opened Friday in selected theaters and on online streaming sites.

And it has a local connection.

It’s the brainchild of filmmaker Phil Blattenberger, who lived in Smithsburg as a youngster. He still has relatives in the area and comes back to visit from time to time.

It’s a long way from Smithsburg to the sometimes exotic locales in Blattenberger’s films, but “it was a kid’s dream growing up around that area, sort of rural America,” he recently told Herald-Mail Media, “bicycling around in cornfields and having a good time. But just a hop, skip and jump away from bigger areas if you had to go do something cool.”

They’re “fond memories,” he said. “I’ve been back a few times, checking out the old neighborhoods.”

He’s lived in lots of places since then — Minnesota, Colorado, New York, Ohio, Iowa — but has been settled in North Carolina for “about half my life,” he said, and holds bachelor’s degrees in history and anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte — “completely unrelated to film.”

But it was his graduate work that led to his first feature film, “Point Man,” set in Vietnam in the days after the Tet Offensive and, back in the states, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Filmmaker and former Smithsburg resident Phil Blattenberger  attends the Condor's Nest premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Filmmaker and former Smithsburg resident Phil Blattenberger attends the Condor’s Nest premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

He was

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How to become an astronaut: What you need to make it into space

Two astronauts facing eachother in space

Image: Getty Images/Peepo

Every year, on Career Day, classrooms are filled with little kids gleefully exclaiming they want to be astronauts when they grow up. Before NASA astronauts were sitting on a vessel, suited up, waiting to take off into space, they were children with the same dreams, too. 

“I wanted to be an astronaut since I was a little kid, actually, ” says Colonel Terry Virts, retired NASA astronaut and International Space Station (ISS) commander. “So I had pictures of the space shuttle and galaxies and everything on the wall when I was growing up.” 

Astronaut on moon during Apollo 11

US Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin walking near the Lunar Module on 20 July, 1969 during the Apollo 11 space mission. 

Image: Getty Images/Contributor

Becoming an astronaut is still one of the top five career aspirations for children in the US and the UK, and number one for children in China, according to one study

Before Leroy Chiao, a NASA astronaut, ISS commander and research engineer, Ph.D., embarked on his three Space Shuttle flights and commanded Expedition 10, he was also a kid with a dream. 

“I was eight years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon,” says Chiao to ZDNET. “And then going out later and looking at the moon and realizing that out there, almost a quarter of a million miles away, these two astronauts were getting ready to go take those first steps on the moon, that was like, ‘wow, that’s what I want to do.'”

After years of training, making it into orbit was was a life-changing experience for both astronauts.

“Seeing the Earth was more beautiful than I imagined — it was more powerful,” says Virts. “I thought I knew. I mean, I’d seen every movie, I had seen every book, I had been talking to astronauts for

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Mr. Bungle and Melvins Team Up for 2023 US “Geek Show” Tour

The post Mr. Bungle and Melvins Team Up for 2023 US “Geek Show” Tour appeared first on Consequence.

Mr. Bungle and Melvins are joining forces for the “Geek Show” US tour this May.

Fellow Ipecac Recordings labelmate Spotlights will also been onboard for the short trek, which kicks off May 11th in Los Angeles and wraps up on May 23rd in Oakland, California.

General ticket sales begin Friday (January 27th) at 10 a.m. local time via Ticketmaster, with a Live Nation pre-sale beginning Thursday (January 26th) at 10 a.m. local time using the code SOUND. Alternatively, you can buy tickets via StubHub.

The all-Ipecac bill resurrects the label’s “Geek Show” tour package, the last of which occurred in 2004. The outing also aligns with Mr. Bungle and Melvins’ May 13th appearance at the Sick New World festival.

“The Geek Show tours of the past were some of the best live show experiences I’ve ever had,” said Mr. Bungle’s Mike Patton, who recently returned to performing live after coping with mental health issues. “Hanging out with friends that are also some of my favorite musicians is a great way to spend a couple weeks. This iteration is a mindblower. You will want to be the first one there and the last to leave this party! The mighty Melvins and Spotlights will prove to be a challenge for Mr. Bungle to follow. I only wish we could take this package around the globe.”

Added Ipecac Recordings co-owner Greg Werckman: “It was always nice to be able to coordinate schedules and put a bunch of Ipecac bands together on the road. This is a fantastic lineup. All three bands deliver in their powerful and unique way. I wish it could have been an eight band bill. Hopefully this is

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