Binion's Gambling Hall is at 128 E. Fremont St. (at Casino Center Blvd.). Tax evasion. Ties to mob figures nicknamed “Fat Herbie.” Battles with unions and the Nevada Gaming Commission. IRS raids. The history of Benny Binion's legendary, family-run casino (which opened its doors in 1951 as The Horseshoe) is a Hollywood screenwriter's dream. This is the birthplace of high-limit tables, casino carpeting, comps for low rollers and the World Series of Poker, which got its start here back in 1970. The tournament is no longer held here, but you can still check out framed photos of past champions in and around the Hall of Fame Poker Room.
If by chance the reels don't line up and that $1 million progressive slot jackpot eludes you, head for the rear of the gaming floor, where you can see what a pyramidal stack of 1 million greenbacks actually looks like. You can also pose for a photo with the “Million Dollar Display.” The printed picture is free and usually ready to pick up within 30 minutes—an obvious ploy to keep you in the casino gambling for as long as possible.
The Binion family no longer owns the property, and in 2009 the hotel rooms were closed for good. Though some areas of the casino have seen minor refurbishment, others are in need of a little TLC. But that doesn't seem to bother the regulars who crowd the front-of-house tables, where sexy dealers in short shorts deal blackjack. For those who miss old-school Las Vegas and would sooner split a pair of tens than step inside CityCenter, Binion's is the place.