After searching and processing the scene of fifty-five-year-old Ted Binion's death, the police at first believed that the former Las Vegas casino operator had died from simply an accidental overdose of heroin and Xanax. Found lying on a sleeping bag in the den of his Las Vegas mansion on September 17, 1998, Binion had been well known among Nevada's gambling elite as a man with a serious drug addiction. In 1997, the Nevada Gaming Commission had suspended his gambling license because of it. As a result, the management of Binion's Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas was turned over to Binion's sister, Becky Behnan. Many of the people who knew Ted Binion were not surprised at all by his death, but simply figured that his lifestyle had finally caught up with him.
[He had all the money anyone could want,] said Nevada Gaming Commission member Augie Gurrola, [and for some reason it just didn't seem to be enough.]1
The Las Vegas police at first agreed that Binion's death appeared to be an unfortunate and accidental result of his dependence on drugs. [At first glance it appears accidental and not an intentional act,] said Las Vegas police sergeant Jim Young. [While it's suspicious, it's not suspicious to the point where we're talking about criminal activity.]2
Binion had left no note, and interviews with his family members didn't indicate that he had talked about suicide or made any plans