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Binion talks underway?

Jan 21, 2003 4:22 AM

Jack Binion’s riverboat casino operations in Bossier City, La., are the most successful in the State of Louisiana. Still, Binion has been operating on a conditional license for the past three years.

A hearing was scheduled for this week to determine whether the former Las Vegas casino operator should be granted a new five-year license. However, without suggesting a reason, the state Gaming Control Board postponed the Binion hearing until Feb. 18-Feb. 20.

Privately, insiders were saying that a deal was being negotiated to settle the matter that has been called more civil than criminal.

It came about because of an LSU law professor who was hired to investigate licensees following the gambling corruption charges brought against former Gov. Edwin Edwards. The probe resulted in Players International selling its Lake Charles riverboat to Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

The Binion allegations reportedly involve the transfer of business interests, without corroborating contracts, between Binion and a Shreveport attorney and members of his family.

The charges were considered serious enough for Illinois regulators to force Binion to sell his Empress Casino in Joliet to Argosy Gaming Corp.