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Rod Smith

Wynn Chooses Binion for Key Role

28 July 2006

LAS VEGAS --Wynn Resorts Thursday named Jack Binion as chairman of Wynn International and senior executive for its Asian operations and development.

"The decades of experience and unparalleled success that Jack brings to our company is extraordinary," Wynn Resorts Chairman Steve Wynn said in a statement. "Jack's guidance will greatly enhance our ability to deal with the challenges that we face as a fledgling operator in China." Advertisement

Binion, former chairman of Horseshoe Gaming Holding Corp., will join Wynn before the Sept. 5 opening of the $1.2 billion, 600-room Wynn Macau.

Binion sold Horseshoe Gaming, which owned three riverboats in Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi, to Harrah's Entertainment in mid-2004 for $1.45 billion. The deal included a noncompete contract that precluded Binion from working for any Harrah's competitor domestically except in Nevada.

In an investor advisory, Jeffries and Co. analyst Larry Klatzkin called the appointment of Binion good news for Wynn Resorts.

"Binion's talent and creativity in dealing with high rollers should be of big benefit to Wynn, and we take this as a strong positive for the company," he said.

Deutsche Bank analyst Andrew Zarnett called Binion's hiring a masterstroke, saying he understands gambling better than almost anyone in the business.

"His experience with his dad in running Binion's gives him unique experience in taking care of gamblers, and that's what the Macau market is," he said.

Binion's father, Benny Binion, founded Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas.

Industry insiders who asked not to be named said Binion should help Wynn give Stanley Ho competition in Macau.

"No one can do it better than Jack," one source said, explaining the one-on-one relationships behind high roller gambling in Macau.

Ho, until Macau Sands opened two years ago, had a 45-year monopoly on gambling concessions in Macau.

Zarnett said Binion has a successful history running a major gaming company.

"Also, his folksy personality will be a great attraction. But the best part of the choice is the mutual respect Steve Wynn and Jack Binion have for each other," he said.

The two reportedly got to know and admire each other when Binion was running Binion's Horseshoe and Wynn owned the Golden Nugget.

Wynn Resorts closed Thursday at $62.99, down $3.85 or 4.66 percent, on 2.3 million shares, more than double normal trading volume.

Wynn Chooses Binion for Key Role is republished from