Joey Morrissey Sues Ocean Resort Casino and Bruce Deifik

Joey Morrissey Sues Ocean Resort Casino

Joey Morrissey claims his relationship soured when he approached Bruce Deifik about employee complaints.

Joey Morrissey, who worked on the HQ2 nightclub at Ocean Resort Casino, is suing the Atlantic City resort for $10 million, claiming he was forced out of his partnership in HQ2, a club at the Atlantic City casino. Joey Morrissey filed the lawsuit this past week in the New York State Supreme Court.

Morrisey was a partner in HQ2, the casino club which opened in Atlantic City this past spring to hoopla. Shaquille O’Neal and Heidi Klum were some of the celebrities which HQ2 hosted.

The lawsuit comes at a time that gaming analysts claim Ocean Resort Casino might be facing cashflow problems. The casino and hotel opened in Atlantic City on June 28, 2018, but has failed to grow its business in the succeeding months.

Mr. Morrissey claimed in the court filing that he helped Bruce Deifik, the owner of Ocean Resort Casino, raise $10 million in cash in exchange for a $200,000-a-year salary, a 30% profit in HQ2’s profits, and 49% of the revenues if the club ever sold.

Joey Morrissey v. Bruce Deifik

In the lawsuit, Joey Morrissey said his relationship with Bruce Deifik soured after a female employee accused the casino owner of inappropriate behavior. Morrisey claims the employee told him “that she was uncomfortable with [Deifik] routinely asking her and her friends…to come see the great view from his presidential suite at the casino.”

According to Morrissey, the woman told him that “female employees stressed to Mr. Morrissey that they all felt obligated to drink and socialize with [Deifik] in order to be hired.”

Joey Morrissey alleges he eventually confronted Deifik about his conduct. At that point, Deifik “bullied and humiliated” him, then pushed him out of the organization and its deals without cause. Morrissey’s lawyers added in the filing that Ocean Resort Casino is searching for a new buyer for HQ2, but it is trying to keep him out of the deal.

About HQ2 Nightclub

The HQ2 club opened on June 30 with Joey Morrissey announced as the managing partner. HQ2 is a 12,000-square-foot nightclub. A day club on the site has a private pool which can accommodate between 25 to 30 guests and six individual cabanas.

Originally, Joey Morrissey ran the HQ2 club. It received a gala opening with a smattering of celebrities, but Morrissey left the project only months after its launch under mysterious circumstances. The lawsuit sheds some light on Morrissey’s departure, at least if you believe his allegations.

About Joey Morrissey

Joey Morrissey has been a notable nightclub owner and expert on the business for over a decade. In 2008, Morrissey purchased Mansion and Pink Elephant out of bankruptcy. Currently, Mr. Morrissey is working with Scores and Robert’s Steakhouse in NYC.

Some accounts of the HQ2 lawsuit refer to the plaintiff as “Joe Morrissey”. Except on Zimbio, accounts from the time of HQ2’s opening and older interviews with the nightclub guru use the name “Joey Morrissey”. To distinguish the plaintiff from the controversial Virginia politician, Joe Morrissey, we have chosen to use the name “Joey” in this article.

Ocean Resort Casino Profile

Ocean Resort Casino once was the ill-fated Revel Casino. The Revel Casino opened in April 2012 as the most expensive casino ever built in Atlantic City ($2.4 billion). Debt to build the casino and energy costs were sky-high, so Revel Entertainment underwent 2 bankruptcies during its 29 months in operation. The most famous moment in its history is when Ray Rice knocked out his fiance in the Revel Casino elevator.

After the second bankruptcy in September 2014, Revel Casino closed. Brookfield Asset Management won the bankruptcy auction for $95 million, but later backed out of the deal when the Toronto-based company realized the energy costs would be prohibitive.

Ill-Fated Revel Casino

The second place finisher in the original bankruptcy auction, Glenn Straub of Florida’s Polo North, was declared the winner of the auction with a $83 million bid. Straub had difficulty gaining casino and alcohol licenses for the resort, so he eventually sold the property after nearly 3 years. In that time, Straub sued two different New Jersey government agencies over PILOT taxes and licensing.

Straub eventually sold Revel Casino to Bruce Deifik, a Colorado hotel owner and real estate developer. Deifik did a 6-month renovation of Revel, then reopened under the name Ocean Resort Casino on June 28, 2018. HQ2 opened two days later on June 30.