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Grandma, can you paint that Ace...

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 12th June 2005 1:38am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


Dee Evans, a witty redhead with sparkling eyes, doesn't look like she's been dealing cards for 49 years. She's kept on smiling through the clouds of cigar smoke, the occasional obnoxious gambler, the different bosses and the ownership changes. She says her career will come full circle Monday when Harrah's Entertainment is expected to complete its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of Grand Casinos. She worked for Bill Harrah, the founder of the global casino giant, during her first year in the business in Nevada.

At age 70, she's a mother figure to the people she works with at Grand Casino Gulfport.

"The gaming industry is a gift if you realize it," Evans said. "The whole world goes by these tables. I tell these kids I've never met a stranger because everybody is a friend when they sit down at a card table."

In 1956, Bill Harrah bought the Frontier Club in Reno, where she had begun working within an hour of having turned 21 on Jan. 29. Harrah tore the casino "down to the dirt," built a nicer property and rehired many of the workers, including Evans.

"The stage bar was close to the casino pit," Evans said. "I used to watch Wayne Newton when he was in teens. He would have to go out the exit when he was through performing. He wasn't old enough to be in there and his voice hadn't changed yet."



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