Lou Nicastro Gets the Nod, Enters Coin-Op Hall of Fame


After a 48-year career in coin-op, the late Lou Nicastro was this year selected for the Amusement Industry Hall of Fame. A legacy inductee who passed away at age 95 in September 2023, Nicastro happened upon the career due to a chance meeting with Del Coleman, the chairman of the Seeburg Corporation.

As the story goes, in 1965 while on vacation in Puerto Rico at the Condado Plaza Hotel, his sons were playing catch by the pool and told to stop so as not to hit someone. Of course, they ended up hitting Coleman. Nicastro knew him through his affiliation with coin-op distributors, many of whom were clients of the bank he was working for at the time. The two got to talking and Del offered Lou a job at Seeburg.

“A few years later, Seeburg was sold. He was given a severance package and sent on his way,” explained AAMA exec Pete Gustafson at the Hall of Fame induction. “It wasn’t long before that company found themselves in financial trouble and coaxed Lou back in hopes he could right the ship. It took him a few years to reorganize the company and settle several lawsuits, after which he stayed on and was named chairman and CEO of Williams Electronics.”

RePlay publisher Eddie Adlum knew Nicastro since his very early days in the trade. “My knowledge of Lou Nicastro goes all the way back to the mid-sixties when he ran an equipment finance company in New York City called Inland Credit,” he said.

“Shortly after he went to Seeburg, I was having drinks in the Chicago Marriot with a guy who worked for me named Mickey Greenman. Sitting across from us was Lou chatting it up with some guy. I didn’t want to salute him while he was working his big stuff with the gent, so we spent a good, long while trading glances at each other until he finally broke the ice and said Hello, Eddie.’

“To bring that story to a head real quick, he agreed to do an interview and I put his face on the front cover of what’s now a very old RePlay. When the magazine came out, Seeburg’s ad guy Bernie Cohen called and said I was a genius for getting an interview with the very private Mr. Nicastro, who was averse to this kind of thing. I said I just got lucky and landed in the right bar, which was true.”

Lou Nicastro with his son Neil and RePlay publisher Eddie Adlum.


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