ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Steve Norton, who ran the primary U.S. playing facility outdoors Nevada — Resorts on line casino in Atlantic Metropolis — and gave recommendation around the globe on the best way to arrange and function casinos, has died. He was 89.
His son, Rob, president of Cordish Gaming, stated Norton died Sunday following an accident in his Oceanside, California, dwelling.
Norton spent greater than half a century within the on line casino business, operating firms and advising state governments on the enlargement of playing, together with on riverboats. He helped create the business’s nationwide commerce affiliation and labored to deal with playing habit.
“Steve was an early and influential gaming govt in Atlantic Metropolis and at Resorts,” stated the on line casino’s present president, Mark Giannantonio. “He was an vital chief within the Atlantic Metropolis market relationship again to the Nineteen Seventies. He was at all times a pleasure to talk with through the years, and a real gentleman in our enterprise.”
Norton was govt vice chairman of Resorts when the New Jersey on line casino opened on Could 26, 1978. The Boardwalk on line casino was inundated by hundreds of individuals making an attempt to get inside, and authorities thought-about diverting site visitors making an attempt to enter Atlantic Metropolis to ease crowd management.
Individuals purchased tickets for buffets that they had no intention of consuming simply so they may sneak contained in the on line casino earlier than anybody else. Males relieved themselves into plastic coin cups to keep away from dropping their spots on the tables. And money — greater than anybody had ever seen and greater than administration might think about — flooded into the counting room, taking a whole day to rely.
“It was unbelievable, it was a madhouse,” Norton advised The Related Press in 2022. “There have been so many cigarettes stubbed out on the ground that earlier than lengthy you couldn’t inform what shade the carpet was.”
Resorts held a monopoly outdoors Nevada for 13 months till Atlantic Metropolis began including new casinos; there presently are 9.
“Steve was instrumental within the proliferation of gaming enlargement that occurred outdoors Nevada,” stated his son, Rob. “In New Jersey, he personally recognized the chance, did the market feasibility and financial influence research, and labored with the legislators and Lawyer Basic’s workplace in drafting the On line casino Management Act and the rules that allowed casinos to open in 1978.”
Earlier than working for Resorts, Norton labored within the resort business within the Bahamas. He later labored for Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. in Las Vegas, and served as president of Gold River Gaming and Argosy Gaming.
Norton used his expertise as an Atlantic Metropolis on line casino pioneer to advise state governments — together with in Louisiana, Illinois and Indiana — on the best way to undertake riverboat playing, and in 1998 based his personal playing consultancy firm based mostly in Indiana.
He additionally suggested authorities in Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Andorra, and the Netherlands Antilles on establishing or working playing amenities.
Norton helped create the American Gaming Affiliation, the business’s commerce group, and was the one founding director from outdoors Nevada, his son stated.
“He acknowledged early that the business’s largest risk to progress was the problem of downside gaming, so he led the cost in altering the best way the business addresses the essential problem and helped create the primary applications that embraced schooling, recognition, and remedy, of the illness,” his son stated.
Comply with Wayne Parry on X, previously Twitter, at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC