SPEAKEASY GAMING OF FREMONT, INC., a wholly owned
subsidiary of MTR Gaming Group, Inc., completed its $20 million
purchase of Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino and entered into
a joint operating license agreement with Harrah's Entertainment,
Inc., in which Harrah's will serve as the primary day-to-day
operator, on an interim basis, of the landmark downtown property
that is known as the home of the "World Series of Poker." The
companies are aiming to re-open Binion's Horseshoe, which shut down
in January, on April 1. The joint operating agreement's initial
term is one year but Harrah's can opt to extend it for up to an
additional two years. According to an intellectual property
agreement, Harrah's will retain the rights to the names "Horseshoe"
and "World Series of Poker" while MTR will keep the right to use
the name "Binion's" in Clark County. When the joint operating
license agreement is terminated, MTR will take over the operation
of the property and will re-brand it according to the terms of the
intellectual property agreement.
SPEAKING OF the "World Series of Poker,"
Harrah's agreed to hold this year's tournament -- and at least the
final two rounds of next year's contest -- at Binion's Horseshoe,
no matter whether it elects to extend the joint operating agreement
for a second year. The 35th annual tournament encompasses 33 events
that will be held between April 22 and the world championship
finale on May 28. Based on the expected number of participants,
this year's total prize money will exceed $20 million. Harrah's
will offer multiple mini-tournaments called "satellites," which
allow poker players to gain entry into the tournaments for as
little as $50. Players who are at least 21 years of age and
interested in registering in advance can call (877) FOR-WSOP and
pay the registration fee for the event they want to enter via a
wire transfer. Players also can register in person at the Horseshoe
during the event; registration materials then can be picked up at
the World Series of Poker registration desk. The 2004 World Series
of Poker schedule and other tournament information is available at
THROUGH MARCH 28, agents can earn 14%
commission on all-inclusive MGM-Mirage Vacations' Las Vegas
packages. The offer, which is valid for bookings made via VAX
VacationAccess, AgentNet VAX and Sabre Vacations, does not include
air fare via Southwest Airlines. MGM-Mirage Vacations' packages
features accommodations at any of the following five Las Vegas
resorts: Bellagio, The Mirage, MGM Grand, New York-New York and
Treasure Island. Entertainment options include tickets to such
Cirque du Soleil productions as "O," "Mystere," and "Zumanity," as
well as other shows such as comedian Danny Gans and La Femme. Other
optional vacation features include limousine transfers, roundtrip
airport-hotel transfers, and Alamo or Dollar car rentals.
STARTING MAY 3, Allegiant Air will inaugurate
Friday and Monday service between Bismarck, N.D., and Las Vegas.
Three days later, the low-fare, Las Vegas-based carrier will begin
service on Thursdays and Sundays from Sioux Falls, S.D. Both new
routes will use 161-seat MD-83 aircraft. To celebrate the new
service, Allegiant, through April 10, will offer a $99 introductory
one-way fare that is valid for travel through the end of the year.
The carrier also is featuring air-inclusive vacation packages from
Bismarck and Sioux City starting at $250 per person, roundtrip.
This introductory package rate, good through April 10, includes
roundtrip air and a four-night stay at the Four Queens. For
air-only bookings, phone (888) 594-6937; for Allegiant Vacations
packages, call (800) 432-3810. Reservations also can be made at www.allegiantair.com.