Bally’s Targets Trump Golf Links For NY Casino With Caveat Of Stripping Name

Written By Grant Lucas on February 27, 2023

After months of relative silence, Bally’s Corporation now appears to have a relatively firm plan in place for its quest for a downstate New York casino license.

In fact, according to George Papanier in the company’s latest earnings call, Bally’s intends to take a “two-site approach” to its NY casinos pursuit.

“It worked well for us in Chicago,” Papanier, Bally’s president and director, said in the call, “so it’s something that we may be duplicating in this process.

“But we’re not going to get into any specific strategy at this point in time. But obviously, we see the market potential.”

Explaining ‘two-site approach’ of Bally’s

In May 2022, a special Chicago committee approved Bally’s to develop plans for an Illinois casino in the city. While Bally’s does not expect the permanent $1.7 billion casino to open its doors until 2026, the gambling company will build a temporary casino within the city.

How will that translate to New York? According to reports, Bally’s has a targeted area for its NY casino.

As first reported by the New York Post, Bally’s expects to propose a gaming venue next to Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, land owned by the city with which Trump’s company has a 20-year contract to operate as a golf course. According to the Post, Bally’s has opened discussions with the Trump Organization “about assigning 17 of the 300 acres on the site to Bally’s to operate a casino.”

“Obviously, we see a huge potential in that market,” Papanier said of New York. “The process is moving relatively quickly. And we could put together a great bid, especially just coming off of the Chicago bid.”

Bally’s NY casino could take over former garbage dump

Bally’s only needs 10 acres for its casino. The other seven would be dedicated to green space or other uses such as worker housing. The company will continue to negotiate with hopes of obtaining the rest of the property, which used to be a garbage dump. If successful in the short term, perhaps Bally’s will take the “two-site approach” at Ferry Point.

“We are incredibly excited at the prospect of bringing Bally’s community centered approach to gaming and entertainment to The Bronx,” a spokesperson told the Post. “At Bally’s, we start with the proposition that the leaders in the community know what is best for their community.

“With that guiding principle in mind, we have been engaged in an ongoing series of conversations with local elected officials, community groups and key civic leaders to hear directly from them about what they would like to see from a potential new project.”

According to the New York Times, Bally’s will only pursue this route if it can build the casino where the Trump clubhouse now stands as the company intends to strip the Trump name from the property.

Details of potential Bally’s NY casino

As detailed by the Post, a Bally’s NY casino will create over 15,000 construction jobs and more than 3,500 union jobs with salaries beginning at $70,000.

The company emphasized that small businesses and residents in the Bronx will have a chance to “share in the economic prosperity and access to amenities” created by the casino.

Bronx Councilwoman Marjorie Velazquez, whose district includes the golf course, noted that the facility is too expensive for most of her constituents. And now is a chance to “reimagine what is possible at the site.”

A spokesperson for Bally’s noted the company’s excitement of potentially “writing the next chapter of Bally’s storied history in the Bronx.”

Photo by AP / John Minchillo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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