Local Lawmakers Won’t Introduce Legislation Needed For Bally’s Bronx Casino Proposal

Written By Grant Lucas on June 3, 2024
Ferry Point golf course with New York skyline for a story on lawmakers not supporting parkland alienation for Bally's Bronx casino.

The race for three downstate casino licenses in New York will continue to be competitive over the next year and a half. But hurdles continue to pop up for several bidders.

The latest instance came in the Bronx, where Bally’s looks to integrate a casino complex at the Ferry Point golf course it officially put its name on earlier this year.

In order to develop its proposed 3.1-million-square-foot facility, Bally’s will need park alienation legislation passed by lawmakers. But as the legislative session nears its end, no such proposal has emerged.

“I have not introduced any legislation to alienate parkland,” Asm. Michael Benedetto, a local representative, told the publication. He added:

“I am not advocating for any alienation bill.”

Bally’s Bronx needs parkland alienation to move forward

Bally’s swooped in to take over the former Trump course, putting its name on the property in January, in hopes of earning one of three downstate casino licenses, which could authorize those operators to offer online casinos in New York once lawmakers legalize iGaming.

Bally’s looks to develop Ferry Point Park, which would include a 500,000-square-foot casino area to complement a hotel, retail space, event center and 4,600-car parking garage. All would combine to form Bally’s Bronx, which faces a public hearing next month as part of an environmental review process as Bally’s looks to widen a road in the vicinity.

The New York legislative session concludes June 6. And park alienation legislation is key for Bally’s Bronx to come to life.

Benedetto told The City that he remains open to feedback from local residents regarding the project, keeping him on the fence in terms of his support for Bally’s Bronx.

Another NY casino project runs into legislative hurdle

Bally’s has long remained bullish on its chances to land a downstate casino license.

A few weeks ago, Charlie Diao, senior vice president and treasurer for the company, called the project “a highly attractive and competitive proposal that will allow for numerous pathways to actualize our vision.”

During that earnings call, Diao added:

“Thinking about our development timeline in this way makes it clear that Bally’s has a well-developed, staggered spending timeline that extends approximately five to 10 years. This approach will maximize the benefits derived from the cash flow generated from our core operations, while accommodating for potential market and financial position shifts.”

That said, a newly elected city councilmember expressed her opposition to the proposal, while the district manager for a local community board suggested that many residents hold a similar stance.

It marks the second NY casino proposal that hit a snag in park alienation. Last week, Sen. Jessica Ramos said in a statement that she would not introduce such legislation to allow for New York Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen to develop a Hard Rock casino project.

Photo by John Minchillo / AP Photo
Grant Lucas Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Grant Lucas
Privacy Policy