Ocean Resort Casino’s former owner Bruce Deifik died Sunday in Colorado.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner confirmed Deifik’s death and will release information about the cause of death in a press release later today.
Deifik’s lawyer, Paul O’Gara, told The Associated Press on Monday that Deifik died in a single-car crash while driving home from a Colorado Rockies baseball game in his hometown of Denver.
According to the Denver Police Department, there was a traffic fatality Sunday where a driver had an “apparent medical condition” before crossing two lanes of traffic and crashing into a light pole.
However, O’Gara said the medical examiner’s office is still investigating the accident.
Deifik was 64 years old.
Ocean Resort released a statement on Deifik’s passing:
“We are saddened to learn that Bruce Deifik, former owner of Ocean Casino Resort, has passed away. The Ocean family is grateful for Bruce having the vision to re-open this beautiful oceanfront property and employing over 3,000 members of our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Hearing scheduled before Deifik’s death
Before his sudden passing, Deifik was scheduled to appear before the Casino Control Commission on Wednesday.
The public meeting agenda includes “consideration of the complaint in State vs. Bruce Deifik.”
However, it is unknown what exactly the complaint is about and no other information can be verified.
Deifik + Atlantic City + Ocean Resort
In January 2018, Deifik and his group AC OceanWalk LLC bought the former Revel Casino from developer Glenn Straub for $229 million.
During a hearing days before reopening, Deifik told the Casino Control Commission he bought the property without ever stepping foot inside.
Ocean Resort officially welcomed its first guests on June 27 alongside Hard Rock Atlantic City.
Its online casino opened for business shortly thereafter, too, joining the New Jersey online gambling scene.
But in a crowded city of nine casinos and an even larger NJ online casino market, Ocean Resort AC struggled to carve out market share. It fell under fire from the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Casino Control Commission after not meeting some of its set goals.
Deifik eventually ended his tenure as owner of Ocean Resort AC when Luxor Capital Group bought the struggling mega-resort in February 2019. The ownership change is still in process.
The story of Ocean will move on to its next chapter and owner.
Deifik, during his brief stay in Atlantic City, will be remembered for bringing a shuttered casino resort back to life and the thousands of jobs that came with it.