Clipped From Herald and Review

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 - Triinkthis 'pioneer' is happy? You bet! LAS...
Triinkthis 'pioneer' is happy? You bet! LAS VEGAS (AP) Gaming pioneer Si Redd leaned forward on a sofa at his posh estate home, fingered his cowboy string tie, and assessed his 84 years. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world," he said, his soft eyes misty. "I'm just a country boy at heart. I believe it was the fun of the journey that I enjoyed most." Redd's journey has stretched from Mississippi, where he scrambled to eke out a living with his sharecropper parents, to Nevada, where he became one of the gaming industry's pioneers. He's the founder of Reno-based International Game Technology, a leading manufacturers of gam ing devices, and is credited with innovations such as the video poker machine. He's still moving along, focusing now on real estate and resort development in tiny Mesquite, Nev. "I want Mesquite to be the end of the rainbow for me," said Redd, who dropped plans for a law career when he saw there was money to be made from people plunking coins into machines. Mesquite is a town of 5,500, located 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Redd owns the 1,019-room Oasis Hotel-Casino, three golf courses and 2,200 acres of land. "I want to make Mesquite a big city," he said in a recent interview. "I hope the day comes when it will be as big as Reno." A lofty goal? Perhaps. But Redd has come far by overcoming long odds. Born 15 miles outside of Philadelphia, Miss., he spent his boyhood selling cloverine salve for a dime and Grit Magazine for a nickel, often walking 10 or 12 miles to make a sale. hi gff?f Ml ni. r:f - iw Ail I Associated Press SLOT MAN: Si Redd takes credit for inventing the video slot machine and video poker. He wants to make Mesquite, Nev., into another Reno. hoot owls off the drinking dipper," he recounted in a thick Southern accent. "Things were very tough. If we could get a nickel ice cream cone once a week, we were in heaven. Our family was always broke" That's why he thought he'd struck gold when he took a coin-operated pinball machine as repayment for a $16 loan while attending East Mississippi Junior College in Decatur, Miss. He put the machine in a local hamburger joint, cutting a deal with the owner to split the revenue. At the end of the first month he checked his machine and found 3,200 pennies. "I couldn't believe I'd recovered my investment in one month," he said, his voice rising. "I thought 'This is for me."' Redd moved to Sterling, 111., where he bought 200 jukeboxes from the Wurlitzer company for nothing down, unaware the machines were items the company didn't PIONEER "We were so far out in the country, you had to scare the Continued on D2

Clipped from
  1. Herald and Review,
  2. 28 Jan 1995, Sat,
  3. Page 23

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