Is Binion’s About to be Sold?

by Lou on June 11, 2007

Rumors of Binion’s being sold are rampant all over Las Vegas, and have been for months. While there’s no indication of a deal in the works, Landry’s, the restaurant chain that owns the Golden Nugget—located just across the Fremont Street Experience from Binion’s—may be interested in purchasing the property.
“We view it as an investment property rather than one of our strategic properties,” said Edson Arneault, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for MTR Gaming Group of Chester, W.Va., which owns Binion’s.

Arneault’s statement suggests that MTR Gaming is looking to sell Binion’s, especially since it showed a negative cash flow of $3.3 million last year.

Justin Sebastiano, a senior gaming analyst for Nollenberger Capital Partners who follows the company, said that Binion’s has been a drag on MTR Gaming’s stock since they bought it from Harrah’s Entertainment in 2004 for about $20 million.

MTR has invested in the casino’s renovation, however, and changes include new carpeting and decor and 200 new slot machines. Plans are also underway to upgrade one floor of hotel rooms in an attempt attract higher-spending customers.

It’s no secret that the casino is struggling. Downtown Las Vegas continues to fight an uphill battle as gaming revenues decline. Downtown’s gaming win in March was $55.3 million, a 7 percent decrease compared with $59.5 million a year ago. It was the 10th consecutive month of decline for the market.

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