When Texas gambler Benny Binion bought the 1935-vintage Eldorado Club in 1951 and re-opened it as the Horseshoe Club, he introduced amenities rarely, if ever, found in downtown Las Vegas casinos.
Binion provided carpeting, air conditioning, and free transportation to and from the airport, as well as table limits ten times those of other area casinos. Now owned by TLC Casino Enterprises and renamed Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel, the venue continues to innovate, including converting its second floor offices into the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon, complete with the latest video networking technology from Visionary Solutions.
“This space on the second floor that’s now the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon was originally the executive offices for our company,” revealed Binion’s General Manager Tim Lager.
“We decided to open it up and change it into a bar that would oversee Fremont Street. We have the only rotating bar in Las Vegas, and it overlooks the Fremont Street Experience pedestrian mall and 1st Street Stage, with views from every seat in the house and a view of the light show that’s right above us. We have glass doors that retract and form an open air balcony when the weather’s good. We also have an indoor stage with free entertainment every evening.”
The Whiskey Licker Up Saloon’s new Visionary Solutions AV network feeds multiple sources to multiple large screen TVs but that’s just the beginning. “The best part of the AV system is it gives us a lot of flexibility,” Lager remarked. “For sporting events, we can show different games on each of the TVs. When we have stage entertainment inside the venue, we can broadcast that throughout the property. Any way we want to go, our Visionary Solutions system lets us do it.”
Even with state-of-the-art technology, designing and installing the new AV system wasn’t easy. “Binion’s wanted a system that was easy to use for broadcasting sporting events, multiple outside cameras, and the inside stage,” explained Ron Cabildo, president/CEO of systems integration, event planning, and entertainment firm Definitive Talents, which designed and installed the system.
“The task was particularly challenging because there’s a stage and multiple line arrays on the street right outside the venue. When I went upstairs to see the space initially, it was all offices. We could hear the sound from outside penetrating the wall, so our first worry was how to isolate the sound inside.”
“The goal was to have a place where people would show up and not leave, so we have a lot of different programming options,” recalled Definitive Talents Director of Operations Quincy Victoria. “We had at least ten TV screens, ranging from 55-inch to 85-inch, and had to find the appropriate places to place all of them. We have a lot of sources too.
We have two cameras inside, one pointing at the indoor stage and another shooting through the space. We also have seven DirecTV boxes for multiple sporting events. There is a camera looking at the street below that has zoom capability, so you can focus on the Fremont Street stage or on people walking by.”
Cabildo chose nine Visionary Solutions E4100 4K UHD-over-IP, cinema-quality encoders and nine D4100 decoders to ingest all of the sources and distribute the content everywhere it needed to go.
“Visionary Solutions encoders and decoders are the most important pieces of this project,” Cabildo asserted. “It really gives us maximum flexibility. This could be a karaoke bar, a music video bar, or a place where a band or DJ can come in and have visuals distributed all over the place, even behind them.
That’s a unique add-on to the system. We needed video for all of these different sources to be distributed independently, globally, or just to specific zones. The Visionary Solutions system’s low latency and wide bandwidth enabled us to distribute everything without delays.”