Resorts Casino Hotel has changed everything in Atlantic City, NJ
It’s a monumental day in the history of Atlantic City. You cannot overstate the importance.
Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City officially opened 44 years ago today.
Steve Lawrence rolled the dice when Resorts International opened at 10 a.m. sharp on May 26, 1978… New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne, State Senator Steve Perskie and other dignitaries watched.
At first, the Casino Control Act only allowed casinos to operate for 18 hours a day on weekdays and 20 hours a day on weekends.
Resorts Casino Hotel forever changed the landscape and fortunes of Atlantic City. That day, 44 years ago, was an absolute turning point in the history of Atlantic City.
The rampant success of Resorts Casino Hotel has spawned more than 30 consecutive years of non-stop robust development in Atlantic City.
Resorts International believed in Atlantic City and played “long ball” before anyone had the vision to do so.
Here’s a real treat, below is a photo by one of the most respected and talented photographers in Atlantic City history, Gregg Kohl.
This photo has not been seen for over 44 years. It was published exactly once, on May 27, 1978 in The Press of Atlantic City.
Resorts International, which was formed in March 1968, a full decade before Atlantic City’s first legal casino opened.
They put their money where their mouth was, investing millions of dollars to buy an option for 55 acres of land on the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
Resorts International has closely monitored each iteration, as attempts to bring casino gaming to Atlantic City, as well as throughout the state of New Jersey failed three times, before finally succeeding on the fourth attempt to bring the New Jersey casino games.
Every time the gambling initiative has been introduced statewide in New Jersey, it has failed.
In 1976, the referendum was finally passed when casino gambling would be restricted to Atlantic City only. There was so much uncertainty about it that statewide gambling support could not win the electorate’s approval.
The referendum eventually passed when casino gambling would be restricted to Atlantic City only.
However, the citizens of New Jersey had no problem approving casino games for Atlantic City only. This short-sightedness of the state’s electorate turned into a nearly half-century boon for Atlantic City.
Resorts International was heavily involved in the November 1976 gambling referendum, which the New Jersey electorate approved.
44 years later, Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City remains healthy and strong, under the ownership of Morris Bailey and under the leadership of longtime President and CEO Mark Giannantonio.
Bailey is an incredibly committed boutique owner who loves Atlantic City and has believed in Atlantic City for many decades.
We asked a few icons to comment on this anniversary.
Tom Cantone is the President of Sports and Entertainment for MGE, the corporate entity of Mohegan Sun, who said:
“When you were the first…you are the pioneer and the leader to follow…Resorts did that from day one and under Mark’s incredible leadership will continue to lead into the future,” Cantone said.
A year ago today, I spoke with Senator Perskie, who authored the New Jersey Casino Control Act. He said:
“We’ve come a very long way since 1978, but we still have a long way to go to create the city we dreamed of.
“The good news is that it looks like all of the separate interests are now able to work together to build our future.”
“Neighborhood Associations, Chamber of Commerce, Casino Association, Boardwalk Merchants, CRDA, developers such as AC DEVCO, Stockton University, are all working closely with Mayor Small and his staff and with the Lieutenant Governor to create our future.
I’m very optimistic for the years to come,” Perskie said.
Former Senator Bill Gormley spoke about the Resorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City and the legalization of gambling in Atlantic City
“It was a marvel. Everything seemed to change one day. The moral of the story is that we can have our Damon Runyon characters in Atlantic City… but, never bet against Atlantic City. Atlantic City always has one more comeback,” Gormley said.
Current Atlantic County State Senator Vince Polistina said:
“The opening of Resorts ushered in a new era for the entire South Jersey area. The property has an exceptional 44-year history and a legacy that forever changed Atlantic City’s fortunes as a premier casino property. .
“We look forward to what is to come as we know that Morris Bailey and Mark Giannantonio remain committed to reinvesting in the property and redevelopment of the city envisioned when Resorts opened in 1978,” Polistina said.
We want to conclude with some thoughts from Giannantonio:
“Memorial Day 2022 marks the start of our 44and year of operation and this is a significant milestone for our property and our team members, some of whom have been with us since the very beginning,” said Mark Giannantonio, President and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel. “
“Many Atlantic City casinos have come and gone over time, but we embrace the leadership role we play in the Atlantic City community and look forward to being here for many years to come” , said Giannantonio.