William Redd

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William Redd
BornNovember 16, 1911
DiedOctober 14, 2003
EducationEast Central Junior College
University of Mississippi
Occupation(s)Businessman, philanthropist
Spouse3
Children2 daughters

William Redd, also known as Si Redd (1911–2003) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He was the founder of International Game Technology, a slot machine manufacturer and distributor. He was the owner of the Oasis, a hotel and casino in Mesquite, Nevada. He was the rightsholder of video poker, and he became known as the "king of slot machines".[1]

Early life[edit]

William Redd was born on November 16, 1911 in Union, Mississippi.[2][1][3] His father was a sharecropper.[2] He grew up in Philadelphia, Mississippi.[4]

Redd attended East Central Junior College in Decatur, Mississippi,[2] and he graduated from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.[1][4]

Career[edit]

Redd began his career in college, when he invested in a pinball machine in a small eatery in Mississippi.[2] He subsequently founded Northwestern Music Co., and he distributed Wurlitzer jukeboxes in Sterling, Illinois and Dixon, Illinois with his brother-in-law.[2][4] He subsequently became a distributor for Bally Manufacturing in Boston, Massachusetts.[1] In 1967, he moved on to the Reno, Nevada market.[2] Redd founded a subsidiary, Bally Distribution Co.,[2][5] and he distributed jukeboxes in Carson City, Nevada and Las Vegas.[1] He also acquired the rights to video poker.[4] In 1975, he founded Sircoma,[5] later known as the International Game Technology, a slot machine manufacturer and distributor based in Reno, Nevada.[2] He sold it to Gtech in 1986, and he served on its board of directors until 1991.[2]

Redd developed Pride of Mississippi, a gaming boat off the coast of Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico,[1] but it went bankrupt and he lost US$20 million in it.[2] He was the owner of Oasis, a hotel and casino in Mesquite, Nevada from 1976 to 2001.[4] He sold it for US$31 million.[2] Meanwhile, he founded the Mesquite Vistas Land Development Co. and the Oasis Golf Course.[1]

Redd was inducted into the Gaming Hall of Fame in 1991,[4][6] and the Nevada Business Hall of Fame in 2002.[7]

Philanthropy[edit]

Redd made charitable contributions to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas,[2] where he was a member of the UNLV Gift Club Palladium Society.[1] Moreover, the Si Redd Room and the Redd Vision video screen scoreboard at the Thomas & Mack Center are named in his honor.[1] He received the Chin's Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2001.[4]

Redd founded the Las Vegas International Cultural Trade Center and Wild Animal Conservancy.[4] He donated US$150,000 to Problem Gambling Consultants, a non-profit organization for gambling addicts.[1]

Personal life, death and legacy[edit]

Redd was married three times. His first wife, Ivy Lee, died in 1974.[2] His second wife, Marilyn, died in 1996.[2] His third wife, Tamara, outlived him.[2] He had two daughters, Vinnie Copeland and Sherry Green.[2] He resided in Las Vegas, Nevada and summered in Solana Beach, California.[1][2] He was a member of the Las Vegas Country Club.[4]

Redd died on October 14, 2003 in Solana Beach, California.[2][5] He was 91 years old.[2][5] His funeral was held at the Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1]

His son-in-law, Alan Green, serves as the chief executive of the Mesquite Vistas Land Development Co. and the Oasis Golf Course.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Gaming pioneer known for invention, generosity dies". Las Vegas Sun. October 15, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s McLellan, Dennis (October 19, 2003). "William Redd, 91; Gambling's Visionary 'King of Video Poker'". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  3. ^ "William 'Si' Redd". The San Diego Union-Tribune. October 20, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Payback: Gaming pioneer Redd looks back on a lifetime of giving to those in need". Las Vegas Sun. June 25, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "William Redd, 91; Led Slot Machine Maker". The New York Times. October 17, 2003. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  6. ^ "William "Si" Redd". Gaming Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "Business Hall of Fame Inductee: Si Redd". Lee Business School. University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Retrieved September 21, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]