Binion rake pinches players

October 23, 2001 3:16 AM
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Binion’s has boosted its rake at poker games to $3.50 per pot, and that has some players boiling.

“They’re providing the lowest service and the highest fees. I don’t know why anyone plays there,’’ grumbled one poker veteran. By comparison, the standard rake at most Las Vegas poker rooms is $3 or less.

Apparently, Binion’s staff isn’t too happy either. When asked about the increase, a shift supervisor said the hike “came from upper management. It didn’t come from us.’’ Binion executives were not available for comment.

The move has dampened play at the Downtown club once regarded as the epicenter for poker play. A midmorning survey by GamingToday last week found games going at just three of Binion’s tables. And the rake at the stud table was a hefty $4 per pot. The Bellagio and the Orleans were running 12 to 15 games at the same time, all with lower rakes.

Ironically, Binion’s was a bargain this summer, when it trimmed its per-pot fee to $2. But that promotion ended August 31.

“It’s a short-term mentality,’’ one player grumbled about the increase. “They may get more (money) today, but people won’t go back.’’