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Binion to Launch Poker Tournament

15 July 2005

LAS VEGAS – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas, the birthplace of the World Series of Poker, will return to international poker competition in Fall 2006 with a new tournament, Binion's Poker Classic.

At a news conference today at the historic hotel/casino, Binion's General Manager Brian Eby and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman announced that the Binion's Poker Classic will be a major tournament for the world's top players.

"No single name has ever been more associated with the game of poker than Binion's. We will again host the world's best players in the exact place where it all started 35 years ago," Eby said.

"Binion's Poker Classic will re-establish Downtown Las Vegas as the poker center of the world. And, an event of this magnitude will continue to revitalize the growth of Downtown," Mayor Goodman said.

Eby said that specific details of the tournament such as the number of events and entries, buy-ins and cash prizes will be announced by August 1. "But, Binion's is definitely back in the game and poker players as well as our thousands of loyal customers and poker fans will feel that as soon as they walk in the room," he said.

In 1970, the late Benny Binion, founder of Binion's, turned the Texas Gamblers Reunion into a bona fide poker tournament when he moved it from the Holiday Casino in Reno, Nev., to Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas. He named it the World Series of Poker although there were no events or official prize money. The first champion was Johnny Moss, who was elected by the other players.

In 1971 at the second annual World Series of Poker, Moss defeated five other players, won $30,000 in prize money and was declared the "world poker champion."

During the next three decades, Binion's became synonymous with the World Series of Poker. Every major player in the world came to Las Vegas, and Binion's, to try and claim the title.

In 2004, Harrah's Entertainment bought the Horseshoe and took over the WSOP. Under the purchase agreement, the 2005 WSOP finals will be held at Binion's today, Friday, July 15. The finals will be televised on the ESPN network. The tournament finals will be broadcast live throughout Binion's.

Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel is owned and operated by MTR Gaming Group, Inc. MTR Gaming Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, West Virginia; Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio; the Ramada Inn and Speedway Casino in North Las Vegas, Nevada; and Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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