Almost Only Counts In Binion's Horseshoe and Handgrenades

A Short Photo Essay on the Removal of Binions Historic Neon Signage

Posted by Chuckmonster

A few years ago, during a Vegas Tripping excursion... I headed downtown expressly to hit the blackjack tables at Binions only to find the venerable downtown casino locked up tight as a drum, it's historic neon lightshow darkened by defaulted payments to the culinary union's pension fund - who called the federal marshals to seize $1.9M in cash and essentially put one of the last family run casinos in Vegas out to pasture after a 52 year run. Could the Culinary Union have been a pawn (or the knife) in Harrah's desire to take over Binions and the WSOP? Essentially forcing the Binion/Behnen family to go all-in after years of floundering since Jack Binion sold his stake and Teddy Binion got booted then offed? Who knows. Either way, the great Binion name survived the shakedown, but had to ante up the World Series of Poker and give an arm and a Horseshoe to Harrahs as part of a three-way deal between the Binion family, Harrahs and MTR Gaming. MTR gaming was left with the property, the Binion name and not much else. After a short period of Harrah's initial assistance, MTR was required to remove all references to the Horseshoe and surrender the WSOP - with the exception of this years final tables - to the Rio (and eventually to a Horseshoe to-be-named-later.)

Slowly, the Binions Horseshoeless facelift has evolved. Over the next few pages, we've organized a series of before and after photos to help you get used to the new look of the Fremont Street landmark.

Classic Binions neon signage looking out on Casino Center

2005 post-Horseshoe replacement

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