As the CEO of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, the 6-foot-7 Edward J. Sutor is an intimidating figure. Well-known in the Delaware business community, Sutor has been with Dover Downs since 1994, when he was hired as an employee of Caesars Atlantic City to help design and open Delaware’s new casino.
But behind the résumé and height is a warm family man who looks forward to the weekends, when he returns home to Ventnor, New Jersey, where his wife, three children, brothers and 23 nieces and nephews live. His favorite pastime is cooking for family and friends.
But during the week, he maintains a home in Dover, one with amenities such as “a big old flat-screened TV, an overstuffed recliner and trays for food,” he says. “I get the remote control all to myself.”
The sixth of seven boys who range from 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-10, Sutor grew up in Northeast Philadelphia. Having lost his father at age 12, his brothers became a big influence on his life. He graduated first in his high school class, then attended college on a full basketball scholarship. He excelled academically, then was recruited by Price Waterhouse in Philadelphia. While working there, Sutor became interested in New Jersey’s burgeoning gaming industry.
“I didn’t think that was my ultimate career, so when I saw that gaming, that excited me,” he says. “It was brand new. It was a classic example of being at the right place at the right time.”
Sutor landed a job at the Sands Hotel and Casino in 1979, then worked his way up to chief financial officer. He was later recruited as CFO for Caesars Atlantic City, where he remained until 1999. That year he officially became an employee of Dover Downs.
Sutor has left his mark on the operation, ushering it through six expansions. His next goal: expand to another state.
“I’ll work as long as I’m happy,” he says. “At some point I’ll have to turn the reigns over.” Sutor sees himself returning home to his family then, playing golf, volunteering—maybe cooking a bit. “I cook mean crabs,” he says. “It’s my favorite hobby.”