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4 Iconic Gambling Characters

4 Iconic Gambling Characters

1940s-Today They’re one of a kind. Dazzling. Captivating. Iconic. Pure Nevada. They’re the mascots of the state’s gambling industry. They graced the facades of casinos in the gambling meccas, and some still do. Rather than merely signs, they’re like citizens, but atypical ones — larger, brighter and cartoony. Here’s a look at four of them: 1. Vegas Vic (Las Vegas) The 40-foot-tall cowboy resulted from an advertising campaign the Walter J. Thompson firm launched in 1946 that boasted “fun in the sun” and a smiling cowboy whose thumb directed toward Las Vegas. The ads appeared in Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post and other national magazines. A year later, a different agency personified in print the Western figure with the name, Vegas Vic, and a voice saying, “Howdy, pardner.” In 1951, artist Pat Denner designed the Vegas Vic who’s become the icon, and the Young Electric Sign Company manufactured a neon version of him for the Pioneer Club. The cost was $90,000 (about $835,000 today). For the more than half-century since, Vic has remained at 25 E. Fremont Street, greeting passersby with “Howdy pardner, welcome to downtown Las Vegas.” He even gave an interview to the Las Vegas Sun in 2000. […]

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