Opened by Benny Binion as Binion's Horseshoe in 1951, this Fremont Street relic competes with the Flamingo and Caesars Palace for the title of the most iconic hotel-casino in Vegas history. Certainly, it's been one of the most influential. Binion, a fabulous character and a fairly unpleasant man, was arguably more responsible than any other individual for the tone of 21st-century gambling in the city; it was Binion who abolished table limits for the first time, and Binion who effectively established the World Series of Poker here in the early 1970s. So much for the past. After the Horseshoe stumbled into financial disrepair under the auspices of Binion's daughter Becky Behnen, the property fell into corporate hands (first Harrah's, then MTR Gaming) and it's not been the same since. The Horseshoe name has been lost to history, while the World Series of Poker has decamped to the Harrah's-owned Rio. A recent refurbishment of the casino has sapped all atmosphere from the space, leaving this historic property as just another Downtown grind joint. Shame.
Accommodation Eighty of the rooms are from the original casino; the other 286 were added when the hotel acquired the Mint. The vast majority of them could use some fairly serious regeneration.
Entertainment The main entertainment here comes courtesy of a mechanical bull, two words that could also be usefully employed when describing the recent remodelling of the casino.
Eating & drinking Binion's Original Coffee Shop is still pretty decent, and there are excellent views from the 24th-floor Binion's Ranch Steakhouse, but there's otherwise not much here.
Gambling When the Binions owned Binion's, you found savvy, renegade dealers, some of the best in town. But dramatic modifications have occurred since the change in ownership. Only four crap tables remain from what was once the centre of the dice universe. The blackjack pits have also shrunk, replaced by some newfangled poker derivatives that would've rendered Benny Binion apoplectic. Still, the video poker is only half bad; and the poker room is one of the largest in town. The race book occupies a former lounge in the West Horseshoe; the sports book is in a separate part of the casino.
128 E Fremont Street
|Cross street:||at N Casino Center Boulevard|
|Transport:||Bus Deuce & all DTC-bound buses/self-parking N Casino Center Boulevard, E Ogden Avenue or E Stewart Avenue/valet parking N Casino Center Boulevard or Ogden Avenue|
|Price:||Rates $39-$79 double.|