Veteran entertainer Ray Charles is coming to a casino near you. Charles, who has been blind since the age of 6 from glaucoma, is lending his name to the first series of slot machines for the visually

Veteran entertainer Ray Charles is coming to a casino near you. Charles, who has been blind since the age of 6 from glaucoma, is lending his name to the first series of slot machines for the visually impaired. The Bally Gaming Systems machines, which include audio cues and a Braille button deck, are being shipped this month.

"This makes so much sense because you can do whatever you want by yourself," the 71-year-old singer said in a statement. "Independence is a helluva thing, man. And we all appreciate it. I know I do. So here's a device where I can use it, I can go out and have as much fun as the next guy and I don't have to depend on anybody else to do it. I think that's great."

The slot machine models include an "America the Beautiful"-themed machine featuring a video of Charles surrounded by "the Paylettes," a play on the name of his backing singers the Rayettes.

Besides the slot machines, Charles has previously been featured in 16 state lottery campaigns. In May, he plans to reprise his version of "Georgia on My Mind" for the Georgia state lottery.


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