The Grit beneath the Glitter: Tales from the Real Las Vegas

By Hal K. Rothman; Mike Davis | Go to book overview

Nevada Goes Global
The Foreign Gaming Rule
and the Spread of Casinos
WILLIAM N. THOMPSON

In 1993, I got a call from Jack Binion's secretary asking if I could come to the Horseshoe Casino and meet with him. I said, “Of course, ” and we set up an appointment. When I met Jack, the son of the legendary Benny Binion and CEO of the Horseshoe, famous for its “World Series of Poker, ” he told me: “I saw you on that Culinary Union video and I didn't like the way you appeared to be speaking for the union. ” I said, “If you listened to my words, it was clear I was being neutral on labor issues. ” He conceded that he could tell that, “but it was obvious they were using you. I didn't like it. You shouldn't have done that. ” Then he said, “Well, forget about that. I want you to do a job for me. I want to get a casino in Louisiana, and I want you to tell the Louisiana Gaming Board why I should have it. ” I accepted the assignment, and we discussed the spread of gambling around the country. He suggested that “they” (meaning the Nevada casino industry) had probably screwed up. “We should have gone into Iowa and Colorado and put our money down against the spread of gambling. We would have all been better off just staying in Nevada. It wouldn't have taken much of an effort to stop all of this, but now we got it. ”

“Now we got it. ” The Las Vegas casino industry now has competition from casinos in half the states in the United States plus half the provinces of Canada. And now Jack Binion is very happy that casino gambling has spread. He is the proprietor of a leading revenue-producing casino in Louisiana, and also the number one casino in Mississippi. He contin

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