Ever since 1970, when Benny Binion gathered seven of the world’s best-known poker players to his Horseshoe Casino at 128 East Fremont Street for the first ever World Series of Poker, that tournament has captured the hearts and minds of poker players around the world. That was way back in the prehistoric poker playing Pleistocene era where people actually sat at the same physical table, bet physical chips, and held physical cards. 42 years later the company which originated the annual phenomenon that is the World Series of Poker and now draws roughly 1,000 times that original seven entrants wants to shuffle up and deal in the virtual world.
Vintage Vegas Gaming (VVG) now controls what was formerly Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, and has applied for a Nevada Internet gaming license. The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently announced the application, as they do all applicants for Internet gaming licenses. Binion’s sold the World Series of Poker brand and the Binion’s Horseshoe in 2004 to Harrah’s Entertainment, and in 2005 the WSOP tournament was oved to the Rio Hotel and Casino just off the Vegas strip.
One of approximately 3 dozen license applicants so far in Nevada since that state legalized online poker for its residents and visitors, Vintage Vegas Gaming has applied for operator, service provider and manufacturer licenses. Their plans are to operate as an in-house web poker provider. The storied Binion brand was established over 60 years ago by famous gambler Benny Binion, and VVG hopes to be as successful with this online version of one of America’s favorite pastimes as Mr. Binion was in his long infamous Las Vegas career that included stints as casino owner, mobster, poker enthusiast, cutting horse owner and convicted felon.
Both Nevada and Delaware have authorized state legislators to allow for legal online poker play inside their state boundaries. This came about after the United States Department of Justice flip-flopped their previous position on their online poker stance as illegal. And it appears that the Silver State will shuffle up and deal virtually before any other, probably first with web poker licensee South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa sometime near the end of September or in early October of this year.
Born in 1904 and first involved with the Las Vegas, Nevada casino scene in 1950, Benny Binion was influential in the Nevada gaming community for decades, right up until his death in 1989, amassing a fortune. Vintage Vegas Gaming hopes to be at least as successful financially, and have as long lasting an effect on the Nevada online poker entity which is currently growing rapidly in its infancy in the state known for legalized gambling. What VVG hopes to avoid in their foray into the online poker world is the criminal history which started in 1924 for Benny Binion, and which is as big a part of his legend as is his development of the globally popular World Series of Poker tournament.