Steve Norton, the pioneer of gambling and first to run a US casino outside Nevada, passes away at 89

Pioneer of Atlantic City Casino Industry, Steve Norton, Dies at 89

Steve Norton, a key figure in the development of the U.S. casino industry, has passed away at the age of 89. Norton, known for running the Resorts casino in Atlantic City and providing guidance on the establishment and operation of casinos worldwide, died on Sunday following an accident at his Oceanside, California home.

With over 50 years in the casino industry, Norton made significant contributions to the expansion of gambling, including the establishment of riverboat gambling. He was also instrumental in creating the industry’s national trade association and addressing the issue of gambling addiction. Mark Giannantonio, the current president of Resorts casino, described Norton as an important leader in the Atlantic City market dating back to the 1970s.

Norton’s involvement in Resorts casino dates back to its opening in 1978 when the casino was flooded with thousands of eager patrons. People went to great lengths to gain entry, from purchasing tickets for buffets they had no intentions of eating to relieving themselves into plastic coin cups to avoid losing their spot at the tables. His son, Rob, highlighted his father’s role in the proliferation of gaming expansion outside Nevada and his efforts in drafting the Casino Control Act and regulations that allowed casinos to open in 1978.

Prior to his involvement with Resorts, Norton worked in the hotel industry in the Bahamas and later served as president of various gaming companies in Las Vegas. He also used his experience as an Atlantic City casino pioneer to advise state governments on adopting riverboat gambling and founded his own gambling consultancy company in Indiana. Norton’s influence extended globally, with his advisory role in countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Andorra, and the Netherlands Antilles.

Additionally, Norton was involved in the creation of the American Gaming Association and was recognized for his efforts in addressing the issue of problem gaming within the industry.

Norton’s impact on the casino industry was profound, and his legacy as a pioneer and influential figure will be remembered by those in the industry and beyond.