In 1951 Benny Binion bought the Eldorado Club and Apache, in Las Vegas, and later re-opened them as the Binion's Horseshoe Casino. It was the first casino to have carpeting, as well as comps that were offered to all gamblers. Binion also instituted high table limits, even eliminating table limits completely at times, which was an immediate hit.
Binion's entire family was involved in the casino. His wife, Teddy Jane Binion, managed the casino cage and his sons Jack Binion and Ted Binion would become president and manager, respectively. His daughter, Becky Binion Behnen (Becky Behnen), managed the kitchen.
Benny Binion served time in Leavenworth Penitentiary from 1954 to 1957 for tax evasion during his gambling operations in Texas. He was forced to sell his controling interest of the casino to pay approximately $5 million in legal costs. However, by 1964 Benny Binion was out of prison and his family had regained control of the Horseshoe Casino.
As a convicted felon, Benny was no longer allowed to hold a gambling license, though he remained on the Binion's payroll as a consultant.
His son Ted would eventually be removed from all casino involvement after his addiction to heroin and other drug use were revealed.
In 1970, Jack began hosting the World Series of Poker [WSOP] at the Horseshoe Casino. Eventually, the WSOP became the biggest poker tournament in the world. In 1988, the Horseshoe expanded by acquiring The Mint Las Vegas, a high-rise hotel on the west side of the casino. The expansion of the casino from this purchase provided room for Binion's first poker room.
In 1998 Becky Behnen took over the presidency after a legal battle with Jack Binion. The battle ended with Jack being bought out while retaining a 1% interest in the casino so that he could retain his Nevada Gaming license. Eventually Jack moved on to other gambling interests.
Behnen implemented cost-cutting measures, most of which were unpopular with the gamblers. Among the most notable was the removal of the Horseshoe exhibit that held $1,000,000 in cash, in $10,000 banknotes, and had served as a backdrop for pictures of visitors. She also made changes in the distribution of the money from the entry fees in the World Series of Poker that were unpopular with the casino dealers, and closed a popular restaurant in the casino.
She also attracted the attention of the state regulators by failing to keep sufficient funds available to pay winners in the casino cage.
Under Behnen's leadership, the casino became mired in debt and was closed on January 9, 2004, when U.S. Marshalls and Nevada Gaming Control Board Agents removed cash from the casino cage pursuant to a federal court order relating to the nonpayment of union benefits.
In March 2004, Harrah's Entertainment purchased Binion's Horseshoe. Harrah's Entertainment sold Binion's Horseshoe on March 11, 2004 to MTR Gaming Group. Harrah's retained the rights to the Horseshoe brand and the World Series of Poker when it sold the casino and hotel, but sold the Binion's brand.
Binion's reopened in April 2004, with MTR Gaming operating the hotel and Harrah's Entertainment operating the casino, while MTR Gaming completed the process of acquiring the required gaming license. Harrah's continued to operate the casino under a temporary contract with MTR Gaming until March 11, 2005.
MTR Gaming remodeled both the casino and hotel after the purchase. A
notable feature of the remodelling was to replace the casino's worn carpet
with surplus carpeting that Benny Binion had stored since initially carpeting
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