New WSOP Home Bally's Rebranding as Horseshoe Casino
Bally's, the new home for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) starting this coming summer, will undergo renovations and a complete rebranding.
The old-school Las Vegas Strip resort, as of the spring, will become the Horseshoe, a national brand of casinos that WSOP historians and Vegas tourists might recognize.
History of Bally's
On December 4, 1973, the original MGM Grand was built on the central part of the Strip, across the street from Caesars Palace. Seven years later, the then-modern property experienced one of the worst fires the city had even seen. The following year, after millions of dollars worth of renovations, the casino reopened.
In 1986, gaming company Bally Manufacturing (you've probably seen their slot machines), purchased the property and renamed it Bally's. MGM Grand would later reopen in a new location on the south end of the Strip.
Since then, Bally's has become one of the top budget hotels on the Strip. In 2005, Harrah's Entertainment (now named Caesars Entertainment), bought the casino, along with its next-door sister property, Paris.
WSOP Going Back to its Roots
The 2021 World Series of Poker was the 17th and final series hosted at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, an off-Strip Caesars property. Prior to the Rio years, the WSOP was hosted downtown at the Binion's Horseshoe, one of the most iconic casinos in Las Vegas.
Founder Benny Binion, a convicted murderer with a lengthy violent criminal history, and his family ran the casino from 1951 until 2004. His sons Jack and Ted would later take over the casino as Benny was no longer legally permitted to operate a casino in Nevada due to his multiple felony convictions.
Jack, who established the WSOP in 1970, was forced to sell the property in 1998 to his sister, Becky Behnen, who implemented some cost-cutting measures that turned off gamblers, eventually contributing to the casino's demise. In 2003, federal agents and the IRS seized $1 million from Binion's to satisfy past debts.
The casino would inevitably sell the WSOP and the Horseshoe brand to Harrah's in 2004, while the Binion's casino was sold to MTR Gaming Group. Since Harrah's took over ownership of the Horseshoe brand but didn't have a financial interest in the Binion's Hotel, it was renamed Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel when it reopened in April 2004.
Caesars Entertainment still owns the Horseshoe brand and operates eight Horseshoe casinos around the country. As of spring 2022, that will become nine when Bally's in Las Vegas is rebranded.
Renovations on the Way
According to a Caesars press release, when the casino is rebranded this spring, renovations are also on the way and will include "a renovated exterior, new entertainment and food and beverage options, and a reimagined casino floor and public areas."
The newly designed casino will keep in line with the Horseshoe brand's traditional sophisticated look. Additional details and a timeline of the renovation will be released in the coming weeks from Caesars.
The 2022 World Series of Poker at Horseshoe kicks off May 29. Actor Vince Vaughn will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 53rd annual summer poker extravaganza, the first time the event has taken place in outside the Rio since 2004.
A schedule for the 2022 WSOP at Horseshoe Vegas is expected next month.