|William 'Si' Redd, who founded slot giant IGT and helped popularize video poker and Megabucks progressive jackpots has passed away at his beach home in Solana Beach, Calif., after an extended illness. He was 91. |
A member of the Gaming Hall of Fame and the Nevada Business Hall of Fame, Redd will be remembered as a prolific innovator, who helped reshape modern gaming.
'Si Redd might have had more impact on gaming than just about anybody in the last 30 years,' University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Bill Thompson said. 'He was a guy who tinkered, a poor boy who had ideas and hustled, and he was the force behind the development of the video poker machine.'
'Video poker drove the creation of our locals casinos,' Thompson said. 'It was this machine that made IGT.'
IGT Chairman Charles Mathewson called Redd a 'larger-than-life character' who loved machines. He also credited Redd with popularizing video poker thanks in part to his tireless efforts as both an innovator and salesman.
'He lived and loved to sell,' Mathewson said. 'He was charming, but at the end of the day a shrewd businessman.'
IGT is now world's largest slot manufacturer. The Reno-based company has built an estimated two-thirds of all slot machines on US casino floors.