Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 7)

Reinhold Schmitt
ISA-GUIDE Chefredakteur (V.i.S.d.P.)
E-Mail: info@isa-guide.de

(rs) While at the Las Vegas Boulevard there came one Super Hotel after the other into being and projects at the Paradise Road Boulevard, like the „International“ (later Las Vegas Hilton) or in between, aligned at the Las Vegas Boulevard, the MGM Grand, known today as the Bally’s, opened its doors – that were mainly the casinos to the tourists – there were neither in Old Las Vegas, nor the Downtown area to be resting. The large hotels at the Strip were mainly financed by financing corporations or were in the hand of mighty trusts, in contrary to the private Proprietor in Downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street.

As in Nevada the game of chance was legalised there were a few Mini-Casinos financed of Private Persons and managed. One of these small sized businesses became always larger and larger and began to expand. One of these casino proprietors was Sam Boyd. This man began already as a teenager with the casino business in 1910, whereas he organised Bingo Games. Later he was organising casino gambles on a ship, which stab over the sea from Long Beach to California. Even in Hawaii he organised Bingo Games, but in 1941 it attracted him back to Las Vegas eventually, where he ought to get the promotion to become a Multi-millionaire.

At the beginning Sam Boyd was dealing Penny-Roulette and in „The Mint“, where he gradually made career – up to the Top-management. Together with his companion Frank Scott he has founded his own casino, the Union Plaza, which was built just next to the railway station, Union Railway Station – hence the name Union Plaza. In 1971 he was founding the Boyd Group, which his Son Bill Boyd was to lead later on. This new established society was financed by a few, self determined investors, who were form Sam Boyd’s circle of acquaintances. In 1975 the California Hotel was opened, which was first of all dedicated to tourists from Hawaii and it owned tight marketing contracts with the tourists of this isle. In 1979 one further hotel was opened apart from the Strip under the flagship company of the Boyd Group: Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall. And with it was already set up a network that should assure the Boyd Group massive market shares at the local casino business. In 1983 the Boyd Group announced their willingness to take over the Stardust Hotel that, biased by immense problems, has hit the headlines. Reports have it, that the Jackpot at slot-machines should have been manipulated. Digitally made displays arranged above the slot-machines should display a Jackpot that actually never could have been won, because there was not any existing link between the amount of the Jackpot and the machines itself. The whole was a real show. The betrayal finally has been busted and there were chances of how the Stardust’s loss of its licence could happen and it then would have to be closed up. In order to avoid this and to avoid the takeover of the entire hotel by the city council, the Boyd Group declared their selves ready, under certain stipulations, to keep running the business further on. Still today this casino is the propriety of the Boyd Group and it represents an important contribution to Las Vegas‘ history. The Stardust Hotel was once the Star of heavens of Las Vegas, but was up to nowadays overwhelmed by the new casinos some time ago. For the nostalgic Ones however the Stardust is still very popular and well visited.

Benny Binion should have been come to fame by some other kind and manner. This man came also to Las Vegas in the 40ies to start the businesses as a casino proprietor. Originally from Texas, where Benny Binion in his youth had already been a gambler, who was it gambling Poker in the backrooms and he organised game of chance. After he had acquired 2 shares on the casinos in Las Vegas and had sold them then he took over eventually the Apache Hotel and the Eldorado Club in Downtown, Las Vegas. 1988 Binion bought the aligning Mint Hotel and combined it with the Horseshoe Club. Who today wanders through the casino will be finding out, that it was 2 different casinos really, that have been now united. The casino has been renamed latterly to Binion’s Horseshoe, and so it is called also still today. The casino was until few months in Family’s propriety, but that hotel that has come into financial problems had been taken over by a new company by the winter in this year. By that time the Horseshoe Casino has been still in a transition phase and has not keeping it open. There have been organisational and constructions‘ alterations taken place, but the casino should be opening for the tournaments and the casino’s work until the World Series in April. Benny Binion died in 1988, and with him died a legend. His last Birthday party ought to be held in the Thomas Mack Arena – with an amount of 19.000 guests! The party cost over half a million Dollar and the high amount of guests was pointing out the popularity of this Man in the Casino-World. After his death the casino still remained in the propriety of the family and was led further according to the philosophies of his founder. Besides, the Horseshoe Casino was famous about its generosity towards its gamblers. Free Restaurant-visits without that one had to gamble over hours, very favourable prices in the Coffee Shop as well as the best Beef of maize fed cattle home grown of a own farm in Texas, that made the Binion’s Horseshoe Steakhouse became a real Insider advise. Furthermore there was a display with 100 original 10.000 Dollar banknotes, in front of which one could have been a photograph done for free, so to take the picture as a souvenir with one back home.

The Casino, fully built in the Wild West Style, was first of all famous for that it accepted quasi any unlimited stake. Who wanted to bet 1 Million at the dice table, was at Benny Binions‘ dead right. As additional attraction the Horseshoe Club held a Pokers‘ game in 1970, which should have been during for weeks. It was a Duel between a professional Poker gambler, who was sponsored by the Horseshoe Club and gambling for the house, and a gambler with the name „Nick the Greek“, who had arrived from Overseas to take on the challenge, who now is the best Poker Gambler in the world. The tournament was held within the lobby behind a blockade, so that could the spectator could stand and watch by how the doing was. The result was of course that Nick the Greek had lost all his money and the Horseshoe Club attained an unbelievable Prestige. Out of it developed the annual World Series of Poker (Title’s rights are protected) that attracts thousands of visitors of the whole World to Las Vegas, in order to fight for the title about the Best Poker Gambler. The main attraction of this 1 month lasting tournament-spectacles is a 4-days-tournament. The Buy-In amount is 10.000 Dollar and the 1. Prize wins a prize sum in the amount of 2.5 million Dollars, an 18 karat golden bracelet with the character of the title on it, „World Champion of Poker“. This is the dream of any poker gambler at all and only very few reach this aim through their gambler’s career. Poker Legends like Johnny Moss, Phil Helmut, and Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Erik Seidel, Amarillo Slim and others were regularly the winner in this Super-Spectacle. The last annual’s winner however, and this is at first ever happened in the history of Poker Gambling, this gambler won his Buy-In due to a tournament over the internet! Chris Moneymaker attended a tournament with 40 Dollar online, won the Buy-In and the journey expenses for the tournament in Las Vegas, went there and was overwhelmed by a fabulous luck-strand! He survived more over 800 gamblers and of 4 days toughest Poker gambling, and took the plane back home to his family with 2.5 million Dollar in his pocket! An American Dream turned to reality.

At this place we want to interrupt this reporting and so call it a day. The new picture with the casinos of the 80ies we want to introduce you the next time.

See also:
New reports: Gambling in Las Vegas
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 1)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 2)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 3)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 4)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 5)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 6)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 8)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 9)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 10)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 11)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 12)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 13)
Historical Review Las Vegas (Part 14 – End)

Walk through Las Vegas