"Good Food, Good Whiskey, and Good Gambling". That's the motto for Binion's Gambling Hall on Fremont Street. The iconic casino will be celebrating seventy years of service all through the month of August, and guests are invited to indulge in a wide variety of specials and events.
Opened in 1951 as Horseshoe Casino, Binion's was a union of existing businesses Hotel Apache and El Dorado Club, both of which were purchased by founder Benny Binion. Pistol-packing Mr. Binion was very much a product of the Vegas mob era, known for his background in tax evasion, a career-criminal lifestyle, and eventual conviction for two murders. Despite his notorious history, Benny created an establishment where all guests were welcomed and treated like high rollers.
The new Binion's Gambling Hall leaned heavily on a western frontier motif, decorated with dark wood-tones and cowboy influences that remain today. Binion's was home to lots of firsts, like very affordable dining, carpeting throughout the casino, gambling comps to all players, free limo service, and free drinks. It's also the birthplace of the World Series of Poker (1970), which led to Benny's posthumous 1990 induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.
As the decades passed, Binion's Gambling Hall continued to grow and prosper, eventually taking over the neighboring Mint casino. The hotel portion of that tower is no longer open to guests, but the historic Hotel Apache above the original casino reopened in 2019. Steeped in decades of ghost-story tales, the Hotel Apache has no resort fees and actually markets itself as "Historic Haunted Hotel Apache at Binion's". This writer has stayed there several times and I had my own mysterious encounter, which you can read about here. You can also learn about their rooftop pool here.
Binion's circa 2021 is a thriving mixture of old and new. The latest addition is Whiskey Licker-Up Saloon, a rotating lounge with a birds-eye view of Fremont Street craziness. Whiskey Licker-Up serves handcrafted food, signature cocktails, and dozens of draft beers. On the casino level, diners can choose between Benny's Smokin' Barbeque and Brews, Binion's Deli, and their 24-hour cafe. Top of Binion's Steakhouse on the 24th floor has unparalleled views and boasts first-class service. Sadly, it hasn't reopened since the pandemic, but dedicated diners eagerly await its return.
Despite a wild history of family squabbles, buyouts, union disputes and a seizure by the IRS, one thing remained consistent: Binion's commitment to its customers. That's why, throughout the month of August, the downtown casino will be offering a lengthy list of events and specials. It all starts with "Haunted Hotel Apache", the August 2021 Challenge on Binion's Casino App (details on how to enter are here). Prizes include stays in Haunted Hotel Apache and gift certificates to Whiskey Licker-Up.
Diners can indulge in food specials at Binion's Cafe from 11 am to 11 pm. For only $7.00, choose from a Classic Chili Cheese Burger with fries or Chili Cheese Mac Pasta Casserole with jalapeno cornbread. Binion's Deli is serving old-fashioned Root Beer Floats made with handcrafted root beer, sassafras, wintergreen, custard, whipped cream, and a cherry for only $1.70, available from noon until 8 pm.
On August 14th, the casino will hold a $7.000.00 free slot play drawing, and the William Hill Sports Book at Binion's will participate in the Pro Pick 'Em contest for 2021's pro football season with $1,210,000 in cash prizes:
Purchase 4 entries and get 1 free entry. Each week, players will pick the winner of all Sunday and Monday Pro Football games, with a $10,000 weekly cash prize paid to the entry with the most winners. The entry with the most winners at season’s end will collect a $20,000 cash prize. If the Grand Prize winner finishes with 215 season wins or more over the total 18 weeks they receive a $1,000,000 cash bonus!
With all there is to see and do at Binion's, you owe it to yourself to return...or pony up for the first time. And make sure you take a photo with the famous One Million Dollar Display. It's a downtown Vegas must-do.