Binion’s to close all rooms, lay off 100 workers

Victor Joecks

Anyone remember the first tax increase passed by the Nevada Legislature earlier this year? A 3 percent room tax increase.

And today Binion’s announced it is closing all 365 of its rooms and laying off 100 workers.

Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel in downtown Las Vegas will close its 365 rooms on Dec. 14 and lay off about 100 workers.
Spokeswoman Lisa Robinson said the decision was made as a result of the economic downturn, which has decreased occupancy at the property and other hotels across the Las Vegas Valley.

Robinson said Binion’s also will close the Binion’s Original Coffee Shop and discontinue keno. The casino, sports book, poker room and Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse on the property’s 24th floor will stay open.

Now, I won’t try to say Binion’s closed its rooms based solely on the room tax increase, because a business decision (like the economy in general) is affected by numerous factors.

A tax increase on hotel rooms, however, decreases the demand for hotel rooms, especially in a weak economy. The government doesn’t have to live with the reality of supply and demand, but businesses do, and when businesses run out of money, they have to cut back or go broke.

This is an example of why tax increases – especially a record-setting, billion-dollar, secret tax increasekill jobs and the hurt the economy. The economy might still grow after a tax increase (because other economic factors might offset the damage caused by raising taxes), but the effect of the tax increase is to kill jobs and limit economic growth, which is what Nevada is experiencing right now.