Steve Norton, who was responsible for running the first gambling facility in the U.S. outside of Nevada, Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, has passed away at the age of 89. Norton, who was also known for giving advice on setting up and operating casinos across the globe, spent over fifty years in the casino industry. His son, Rob Norton, stated that Steve had died following an accident in his California home.
Resorts Casino was inundated with thousands of people when Norton was the executive vice president at the time of its opening in May 1978. Norton described the scene as “incredible” and “a madhouse” with people buying buffet tickets and even relieving themselves into plastic cups just to get inside. Norton played a key role in the gambling expansion outside Nevada and helped to establish the industry’s national trade association. He also worked to address gambling addiction.
Before working at Resorts, Norton worked in the hotel industry in the Bahamas. Later, he worked for Las Vegas Sands Corp. and served as president of Gold River Gaming and Argosy Gaming. Norton also specialized in advising various state governments and international authorities on establishing or operating gambling facilities. He founded his own gambling consultancy company and helped establish the American Gaming Association as the industry’s trade group.
Norton’s efforts were recognized and appreciated within the industry, with his son praising his work on addressing the issue of problem gambling and helping create programs that embraced education, recognition, and treatment of the disease. Current president of Resorts Casino, Mark Giannantonio, also paid tribute to Norton as an influential gaming executive and true gentleman in the business.
In addition to his work in the casino industry, Norton was an influential figure in the industry and his contributions to transforming the landscape of gambling will be greatly remembered and appreciated.