Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the 1940s Binion moved to Las Vegas from Texas because of increased political pressure. He bought the Eldorado Club in 1951 which later became Binion's Horseshoe. It was one of the first casinos to have carpeting and comps for all its players, and was an immediate hit because of the large limits on bets.
Binion's entire family was involved in the casino. His sons Jack and Ted would become president and manager, respectively, and his wife Teddy Jane managed the casino cage.
In 1970 it became the host to the largest set of poker tournaments in the world, the World Series of Poker. In 1988 the Horseshoe expanded by acquiring The Mint , a high-rise hotel adjacent to it. Benny Binion, the founder, died in 1989.
In 1998, Binion's daughter, Becky Behnen, took over the presidency after a legal battle. Jack moved on to other gambling interests, but retained a tiny ownership interest in Binion's. Behnen implemented cost-cutting measures, some of which were unpopular. Among the most notable was the removal of the horseshoe exhibit that had held $1 million in $10,000 bills, providing a backdrop for free pictures of visitors. She also made changes in the distribution of the money from the entry fees in the World Series of Poker.
Under Behnen's leadership, the casino became deeply in debt and was closed during an IRS raid on January 9, 2004 for non-payment of taxes. In March, Harrah's Entertainment purchased Binion's Horseshoe, which re-opened in April.
After buying the Horseshoe, Harrah's Entertainment sold the property to MTR Gaming , which operated the hotel. Harrah's continued to operate the casino under a temporary contract. Harrah's retained the rights to the Horseshoe name and the World Series of Poker name.
When the casino was remodeled after the purchase, the original carpeting was installed. It seems that Benny Binion had ordered and stored for all these years, enough carpet to re-carpet the entire casino.
In March of 2005, MTR Gaming took over operation of the casino and it was renamed Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel .
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