One might say: Vegas was built

by the truck load

  

This page was created on 11-04-2005 _ Last updated 4-05-2012

 

                                                                                                                                                  

Who’s Who’s – Volume I -  Mr. Si Redd

 

The Connection:

 

During the early bingo years, Si was living back east and ran at least one casino in the Boston area and he was also a salesman for Bally. Don Hooker says that there was one gambling machine he designed that really made Si a bunch of money and Si and him became good friends. Don mentions that Si was always trying to do something for him, give him a couple of thousand dollars – or something.

 

In reference to the “reflex unit” Don says that these were adjustable (more on this later) but Si knew that keeping people in the casinos was the real key to success, to making money. Si would set-up his machines to payout 90%-to-95% and he was one owner/operator who ran them the highest in order to keep people in the hotels and casinos. That even back, staying at these places was expensive and the machines were basically a give-away.

 

Si also has interests down in the New Orleans area, one of the places Bally would use to try out the new machines. Don mentions this tidbit when asked were Bally would demo the new bingos.

 

Si was also very involved with shipping the one-balls and bingos out of the country, selling them overseas. He sold 1000s of  “Debry” machines and other pins to the Japanese – A trend very prevalent as owners worked to liquidate their inventories toward the close of the era of these machines.

 

In the interview, the team mentions that Si was Bally’s Top Salesman and in reference to this and that Si married a much younger wife: Don responded: “Yeah, he was no dummy!”

 

The Bibliography:

 

Mr. Si Redd can clearly be counted in the annals of: “Who Helped To Build Las Vegas.” As a game developer, his innovations include multi-coin play, multi-line payoffs, video table games and progressive jackpots. With gaming machines responsible for almost two-thirds of Nevada's gaming revenue, it would even be fair to call Si Redd the Man.

 

Originally, Redd came to Nevada by way of Reno. His friend Bill O'Donnell offered him the Silver State distributorship for Bally, a maker of coin-operated games. With years of experience under his belt, Redd gladly accepted, especially to get away from the growing mob pressure to turn over his east coast coin-op interests.

 

The phone calls to Bally's headquarters started to come: Redd wanted multi-coin play, with the jackpot available only with maximum coins played; Redd wanted payoff on three lines, then five lines; Redd wanted more liberal payoffs on low denomination machines. Features that are as common as flashing lights and jackpot bells today were all developed under Redd's direction. By the time Bally bought back their distributorship, Redd was a multi-millionaire with an eye to the future.

 

Holding on to Bally's rights for video-based machines, Redd founded SIRCOMA and began developing video poker on old Pong machines. Soon the machines were everywhere, players often preferring the interactive game to the hum-drum yank of the slot machine. SIRCOMA became IGT, the dominant gaming machine manufacturer in the United States. The icing on the cake for Redd was his development of Megabucks, a national gaming lottery that spawned a craze for progressive machines evident in casinos across the country.

 

Redd sold his interest in IGT in 1986. Since then he developed and sold his Oasis resort-casino in Mesquite, Nevada, pursued philanthropy through gifts to the University of Nevada Las Vegas and his own Noah's Ark animal preservation project, just south of Las Vegas.

 

Si Redd was so popular, well known, revered, and respected – Las Vegas even celebrated “Si Redd Day” for years. Si lived in Las Vegas and commuted to Reno every day; his interests were wide and varied, and he was clearly entrenched and a leader in segment of America’s History and the Gamming Industry.

 

 

 

- The Man -

 

……………and in this case, the shirt…………...

 

 

 

 

Associated Links

 

Some Great Bally History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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