Binion's Horseshoe Sale Finally Complete

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MTR Gaming Group Inc. is now the new owner of the legendary Binion's Horseshoe hotel-casino after a series of delays hung up the transaction.

West Virginia-based MTR Gaming finalized the deal with Harrah's Entertainment Inc. on Thursday morning and hopes to reopen the downtown property April 1, Harrah's spokesman David Strow said.

Harrah's and MTR Gaming on Wednesday managed to settle two leases with nearby landowners that could have derailed the deal and disrupted the 35th annual World Series of Poker tournament that's set to begin April 22 at Binion's Horseshoe.

Harrah's will manage Binion's Horseshoe on a day-to-day basis for a year and has the option of extending the agreement for up to an additional two years. The Nevada Gaming Commission granted a gambling license to MTR last week.

MTR will own Binion's Horseshoe through a subsidiary called Speakeasy Gaming of Fremont Inc. The sale price was about $20 million, Ted Arneault, MTR's president and chief executive officer, said last week.

Binion's Horseshoe closed Jan. 9 after U.S. marshals seized cash from the casino to pay outstanding employee benefits. Harrah's later stepped in and bought the Horseshoe for about $50 million but quickly negotiated a deal with MTR.