Steve Norton, the legend of the U.S. casino industry and the first U.S. casino outside Nevada, died at the age of 89.
Huge loss for the industry:
Norton was operating the famous Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, but he was the one who advised various other casinos all around the world about setting up and running successful casinos.
Norton’s son, Rob, confirmed the death and explained that the cause of death was the consequences of the accident he had in his house in California.
Norton’s career in the industry lasted for more than 50 years. He was an advisor to the states, helped in gambling expansions in the whole country, and was a great help in preventing and resolving various problem gambling issues.
Mark Giannantonio, the current president of the Resorts, said: “Steve was an early and influential gaming executive in Atlantic City and at Resorts. He was an important leader in the Atlantic City market, dating back to the 1970s. He was always a pleasure to speak with over the years and a true gentleman in our business.”
Norton became a part of the Resorts and its executive vice president right after the casino opened on May 26, 1978. The casino’s popularity exceeded all expectations. For 13 months, it was the only casino outside Nevada before eight other casinos in Atlantic City opened.
Rob, who is currently the president of Cordish Gaming, said: “Steve was instrumental in the proliferation of gaming expansion that occurred outside Nevada. In New Jersey, he personally identified the opportunity, did the market feasibility and economic impact studies, and worked with the legislators and Attorney General’s office in drafting the Casino Control Act and the regulations that allowed casinos to open in 1978.”
Beginning of the successful career:
Norton started his career working in the Bahamas in the hotel industry and then joined Las Vegas Sands Corp. He was also the president of Gold River Gaming and Argosy Gaming.
He was the advisor for various states, such as Louisiana, Illinois, and Indiana, and helped them establish riverboat gambling. He founded the gambling consultancy company in 1998.
But he hasn’t advised only U.S. states – he was an advisor for Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Andorra, and the Netherlands Antilles government, helping them to establish and run various gambling companies.
But one of Norton’s most important achievements was creating the American Gaming Association, one of the biggest trade groups, and he was the only director who hadn’t come from Nevada.
As AP News reports, his son said: “He recognized early that the industry’s biggest threat to growth was the issue of problem gaming, so he led the charge in changing the way the industry addresses the critical issue and helped create the first programs that embraced education, recognition, and treatment of the disease.”