Binions Casino is a historic staple of downtown Las Vegas, and evocative of the town's gambling history and culture. Founded in 1951, the casino was owned and operated by the Binion family until 2004. Binions Casino has continued to operate under various names -- including Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel, and Binion's Horseshoe. The casino is now run by TLC Casino Enterprises.
Historically, Binions Casino was pioneering in style and design. Founder Benny Binion set up and decorated the gambling area in the style of an old riverboat. The ceilings were low; the floors were carpeted and the walls covered with velvet. The casino was the first, at the time of opening, to have a carpeted floor. Some of the leftover original carpeting was used in a relatively recent refurbishment of the casino floor. The plush interior and historical references of the casino's design gave the building -- and the brand -- a kitsch, almost homely feel by comparison with other casinos.
Another design attraction of Binions Casino was the million-dollar display -- $1 million cash displayed on the casino floor. Originally this was in $10,000 bills; when the million-dollar display was brought back after being sold, it used lower-denomination bills, from $100 to $1. The million-dollar display has always been a popular attraction with both tourists and gamblers -- it is unusual for the layperson to actually see $1 million in physical currency.
Binions Casino was popular with gamblers from the outset, partly because Benny Binion gave similar "comps" to low-budget gamblers as he offered to the high rollers with a lot of money to bet. There were no separate areas of the casino limited to high-rolling gamblers; this gave the establishment an open, relatively democratic feel among gamblers.
Further, Binions Casino was pioneering, and popular, in setting higher table limits than other casinos -- in the early 1950s, Binions Casino had a very high limit of $500 on the craps tables. Binions Casino then instituted a $10,000 table limit -- at times, the casino removed upper table limits entirely, which helped grow its early and enduring popularity with gamblers
Binions Casino has featured in popular culture in recent years. The "Horseshoe" name and logo was iconic in the latter 20th century, and has been referenced in popular film, music and television. Snoop Dogg used images of the casino's exterior in his 2005 hit "Signs", with Justin Timberlake. Binions Casino was also the subject of a recent reality television show, "Casino Confidential". This show takes the viewer behind the scenes of the casino's operations.
At the time of writing, Binions Casino remains a staple and an icon of downtown Las Vegas. A new restaurant, the "Top of Binion's Steakhouse" is located on the 24th floor of the casino's West Tower. From the steakhouse, there's a panoramic view over Las Vegas and the surrounding valley. In addition to month-aged Angus steaks, the restaurant serves a range of seafood.