Steve Norton, trailblazing gambling pioneer and first operator of a US casino outside Nevada, passes away at 89

Steve Norton, recognized for his role as a pioneer of the gambling industry in Atlantic City, has passed away. He led the much-visited Resorts casino in the city and his son, Rob An president of Cordish Gaming, confirmed the news of his father’s death following an accident at his home in Oceanside, California. Norton dedicated more than 50 years of his life to the casino industry, but has recently been involved with consulting for state governments on the expansion of gambling, including the riverboat casino sector. His expertise was also sought after around the world, including in countries like South Korea and Kazakhstan, when establishing or operating gambling facilities.

Trying a hand in various gambling business roles, Norton not only helped in the establishment of the industry’s national trade association American Gaming Association, but also worked towards addressing gambling addiction. His son said Norton’s biggest concern for the industry was the issue of problem gaming and he was a force in changing the way the industry approaches the critical issue, creating educational, recognition, and treatment programs.

Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, where Norton was Vice President when it first opened, was a scene of chaos during its inaugural day and even though it held a monopoly outside Nevada, its popularity lasted for only 13 months until other casinos in the city came up. Norton did not stop at Atlantic city, helping other states in adopting riverboat gambling, advising in drafting the Casino Control Act in New Jersey, and later founding his own gambling consultancy company.

Before his rise in the casino industry, Norton has a background in the hotel industry in the Bahamas, and worked for Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. in Las Vegas, and served as president of Gold River Gaming and Argosy Gaming.

Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts casino, remembers Norton as an important leader in the Atlantic City market dating back to the 1970s, and further added, “He was always a pleasure to speak with over the years, and a true gentleman in our business.”

Fatal, is the only word that can define this accident of Steve Norton. He played a very important role in the gambling industry and also advices the state governments on the gambling expansions. Norton has his share of contribution in the gambling industry that can never be forgotten. God bless his soul.

Rest In Peace Steve Norton.