Steve Norton, Trailblazer in Gambling Industry and First Non-Nevada Casino Operator, Passes Away at 89

Steve Norton, the man who ran the first non-Nevada gambling facility in the US – Resorts casino in Atlantic City – and provided advice to countries around the globe on setting up and operating casinos, has passed away at the age of 89.

According to his son, Rob, who is the president of Cordish Gaming, Norton died on Sunday as a result of an accident in his Oceanside, California home.

Norton had a career spanning over fifty years in the casino industry, managing companies, and consulting state governments on gambling expansion, including the introduction of riverboat gambling. Additionally, he played a role in creating the national trade association for the gambling industry and worked on addressing gambling addiction.

The current president of Resorts casino, Mark Giannantonio, described Norton as an influential gaming executive and an important leader in the Atlantic City market, stating that it was always a pleasure to speak with him. Norton was with Resorts as the executive vice president when the New Jersey casino opened on May 26, 1978, attracting thousands of people and gaining significant attention.

Norton also played a crucial role in the widespread expansion of gaming outside Nevada, working with New Jersey legislators and officials to draft the Casino Control Act and regulations that allowed casinos to open in 1978.

His stint at Resorts was not the only highlight of his career, as Norton later worked in the Bahamas hotel industry, with Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., and served as president of Gold River Gaming and Argosy Gaming. Moreover, he founded his own gambling consultancy company, advising state governments and officials from various countries on establishing and operating gambling facilities.

Norton’s impact also extended to his involvement in creating the American Gaming Association and leading the industry’s efforts in addressing problem gaming systematically.

Norton’s strong footprint in the gambling industry will be remembered for many years to come, as he leaves behind a legacy as a pioneer and visionary.