The First Legal Casino in New Jersey
On May 26th, 1978, the first legal casino in the US outside Nevada opened in Atlantic City. Resorts International opened on a site that had previously been occupied by two Quaker rooming houses.
In 1976, New Jersey voters had approved a referendum allowing casino gambling but restricted it to Atlantic City. Resorts was the first one to open and was originally restricted to 18 hours a day during the week and 20 hours a day on the weekend. According to the Resorts website, there were long lines waiting to get in before the casino opened at 10 am after Governor Brendan Byrne cut the ribbon.
When it opened, it had 84 table games and 393 slot machines. Resorts has gone through several ownership changes throughout the years, once being owned by Merv Griffin. Its Rendezvous Tower is still one of the taller buildings in AC.