Nicholas R. Amato

Nicholas R. Amato is Of Counsel in the Firm’s Casino & Gaming Law, Alternate Dispute Resolution Law and Trusts & Estates Law Practice Groups.

Mr. Amato’s knowledge and experience on casino and legalized gaming issues is a result of a long and outstanding career in private industry and public office, holding positions that encompassed casino operations and regulatory affairs. He was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the main engine for casino-revenue-based economic growth throughout the state, and later the President of the Casino Association of New Jersey, the chief advocate for the Atlantic City casino industry. He is also a former Essex County Executive and former Essex County Surrogate.

Representative Matters:

  • Resorts International Holdings, LLC, and Resorts International Hotel Atlantic City, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, 2001-2008. Oversaw legal functions for Resorts Atlantic City and casino properties in Mississippi and Indiana. Served as Acting President of Atlantic City Hilton Hotel and Casino.
  • Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Senior Vice President of Development, 1999-2001. Advocated the interests of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States where casino gambling and other forms of gaming were under consideration; reported directly to Donald J. Trump, chairman, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts.
  • Casino Association of New Jersey, President, 1994-1996. Led efforts to identify the strategic interests of a $4 billion – a – year New Jersey gaming industry.
  • Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Executive Director, 1991-1994. Led the state authority responsible for providing financial support for public and private projects funded by special taxes on casino revenues.
  • Essex County Executive, 1987-1990, a position in which he headed the government of the state’s most urban and diverse county with a population close to 800,000 people. He also served three successive five-year terms as Essex County Surrogate before he was elected County Executive.

Mr. Amato holds a casino key employee license from the state of New Jersey and also held casino licenses in Indiana and Mississippi.

He was a founding partner in Amato, Salerno & Lunga before his election as Essex County Executive.

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • United States Federal District Court
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Seton Hall Law School, J.D.

  • St. Peter’s College, B.S.