Resorts Atlantic City Announces 45th Anniversary Plans With Kelsey Grammer

Resorts Atlantic City forever changed the New Jersey beachfront town when its casino floor opened in May 1978. This Memorial Day weekend, the Boardwalk resort will celebrate its 45th anniversary of continuous operation and its honor of being the oldest casino resort in town.

Resorts Atlantic City anniversary New Jersey
Resorts Atlantic City hosts the “Annual Opening of the Sea Ceremony” on Memorial Day 2022. The yearly tradition includes dropping hundreds of beach balls on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The event marks the unofficial start of the busy season for the nine casinos. (Image:

Owned by Morris Bailey and Dennis Gomes, Resorts World has been operated by Mohegan since 2012, a subsidiary of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut.

Resorts traditionally hosts Atlantic City’s annual beach ball drop on the Boardwalk during the Memorial Day weekend. The event is the unofficial start of the summer for the resort town. But this Memorial Day, festivities will be extra special, as Resorts looks back on 45 years.

Being the first Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, it’s a huge accomplishment to celebrate 45 years of operation,” said Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO at Resorts. “This wonderful milestone is a testament to the culture at our hotel, the hard work and dedication of our team members and the loyalty of our guests.”

“We look forward to continued growth and success as Resorts Casino Hotel embarks on its next 45 years and beyond,” Giannantonio said.

A-List Host, New Cocktail Venue

Actor and New Jersey native Kelsey Grammer will co-host Resorts’ 45th-anniversary shindig with Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr.

Grammer and Small will be the emcees for the beach ball drop — officially the “Annual Opening of the Sea Ceremony” — at 1 pm EST on Friday, May 26.

That night, a Bee Gees tribute band will take the stage at Resorts’ Superstar Theater. A Resorts release said the band will feature “present and former members of world-renowned acts and offer all the classic 70s disco hits from ‘Stayin Alive’ to ‘Night Fever’ while embracing the early works such as To ‘Love Somebody.’”

To commemorate its opening in the late 1970s, Resorts has renovated its Bar One cocktail spot just steps from the hotel lobby into Lounge78. The new watering hole is a retro-themed venue paying tribute to Resorts’ 1978 opening.

iGaming Lifeline

Resorts has benefited greatly from New Jersey legalizing iGaming in 2011. It took more than two years before online slots and table games went live in November 2013 because of legal concerns, specifically whether the federal Wire Act prevented a state from allowing intrastate internet casino gambling.

Resorts was an eager supporter of online poker and internet casino games, and that’s turned out to be a winning bet over the past decade. In fact, Resorts generates far more gross gaming revenue (GGR) online than it does on its brick-and-mortar casino floor.

In 2021 and 2022, Resorts’ land-based casino reported GGR of $168.6 million and $168.1 million. Meanwhile, Resorts Digital, Bailey and Gomes’ iGaming entity in New Jersey, reported GGR of $450.7 million and $546.5 million during those two years.

New Jersey’s licensing law requires that all iGaming platforms be tethered to one of the nine casinos in Atlantic City. PokerStars lends its casino license to five online casino and sports betting sites: ResortsCasino, Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings, Mohegan Sun Casino, and PokerStars NJ.

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