Steve Norton, who almost singlehandedly brought legal casino gambling to New Jersey, died last month. Norton was largely responsible for the successful gaming referendum that brought wagering to Atlantic City. Norton was an executive with Resorts International, which opened the first Atlantic City casino and also owned the Paradise Island property in the Bahamas.
He later repeated this success in many jurisdictions such as Louisiana; Illinois; Indiana, Sentosa Island, Singapore; Incheon, South Korea; Puerto Rico, and more to establish or promote their gaming opportunities. He also served as a senior executive in Argosy, transforming that small company into a regional powerhouse. Norton was one of the last presidents of the Sands in Las Vegas before it was imploded, and established the highly successful Expo Center there.
Norton also recognized that the industry needed to elevate its negative image at the time and was a founding director of the Casino Association of New Jersey and the American Gaming Association. He was also an early advocate of responsible gaming and helped create the first programs that embraced education, recognition and treatment of the disease of problem gambling.
Norton is survived by his wife Ingrid, six children, 17 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was 89.