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Casino Executive Gomes' Death Leaves Void In AC Casino Industry

Dennis Gomes was part of the reason that Atlantic City casinos have started to emerge from the economic recession of 2008. Gomes took over Resorts in Atlantic City in 2010, and immediately overhauled the casino in ways that brought customers back to Atlantic City in recent months.

That is why news of Gomes' untimely death on Friday have been met with disappointment from members of the AC gaming community. It was the second death on the Gomes family in less than a month, as Gomes' son Douglas passed away in late January.

"I don't know much about Mr. Gomes the man," said Tristan Grant, who was playing slots at Resorts over the weekend. "But I know that this is a much better place to come hang out than it was before he took over. It is sad because I hear he had even more plans to renovate Resorts. Hopefully his vision will be carried out in the future."

Gomes had become known in the gaming industry as an executive that could turn around struggling casinos. Gomes bought the Sands in Atlantic City, renovated the facility, and then sold it for a large profit several years ago. The Resorts project was Gomes' latest endeavor, and along the way it even came with some controversy.

A group of former cocktail waitresses filed a class-action suit against Resorts, claiming that Gomes fired them because the women did not look up to his standards in the new waitress outfits. Gomes denied the allegation, and even claims he offered the women jobs in other areas of the casino. Gomes also created the first gay nightclub in Atlantic City at Resorts.

While his passion was rejuvenating troubled casinos, Gomes also played other roles in the development of the gaming industry in the US. In New Jersey, Gomes served as the Chief of Special Investigations of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Across the country in Nevada, Gomes held the title of Nevada Gaming Control Board Division Chief.

"We have not only lost a business partner who was an industry leader and visionary, we have lost a friend and family member," said Morris Bailey, Gomes' partner in the Resorts project. "We are committed to continuing Dennis' vision for Resorts and Atlantic City, and our success will be a tribute to his memory."

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