LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Opening day for the highly-anticipated Resorts World Las Vegas is set for this Thursday. Even though the doors haven’t opened yet, dozens of people are already sharing their thoughts in online reviews.
A simple Google search for "Resorts World Las Vegas” reveals it already has a 4.2-star rating on Google, with 150 reviews. If you're wondering how that is possible, considering Resorts World doesn't even open until Thursday, you're not alone.
13 Action News reached out to Natalie Pennington, an assistant professor of Communication Studies at UNLV. She says sites like Google and Yelp do try to monitor reviews to make sure they're real, but in this situation, it's probably just too soon to start taking them down.
"It's not terribly uncommon because Google doesn't have that 'check-in' place and that's the same with Yelp or any other site where they tend to say, 'We are hoping that you're being honest,' but they don't really have the immediate, 'Oh, this isn't open yet. It couldn't happen,'" said Pennington.
After digging deeper, 13 Action News discovered most of these reviews fell into four categories:
- Five-star reviews from people who claim to be employees at Resorts World, or those who say they've had early access to the resort.
- Five-star reviews from supposed fake reviewers.
- One-star reviews from people trying to balance out the potentially fake five-star reviews.
- Five-star reviews from people who are trying to counteract the one-star reviews trying to balance out the potentially fake five-star reviews.
Regardless, Pennington says these reviews are very important to businesses in the competitive online market.
"Sites like Yelp or Google Reviews are great opportunities for people to go and do the research to say, “well, if I have 20 different resorts I could be staying at, which resort is the resort I can pick.” 20 years ago, maybe it was just word of mouth, a friend said, “hey I stayed here, it was cool.” You didn’t really go on the internet to look those things up. But now, there’s that opportunity, and I think it’s almost heavily encouraged, in some ways, as well," said Pennington.
13 Action News reached out to Resorts World and Google to see if they're aware of any potentially fake reviews and if they're trying to take them down.
A Google spokesperson sent a statement that reads, "Our strict policies clearly state reviews must be based on real experiences, and when we find policy violations, we take action — from removing abusive content to disabling user accounts. We are looking into this situation, and will take the necessary steps to remove any fake or misleading content.”
Resorts World Las Vegas has not yet responded to our request for comment.
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