When it comes to finding a location for a potential downstate casino in New York, realistically, there are only so many reasonable and logical locations.
To the northeast of New York City is a golf course at Ferry Point. One that Bally’s targeted as its casino site earlier this year. What was once Trump Golf Links is now Bally’s Golf Links. When the gambling company acquired the lease to operate the course, it was reported that the contract cost Bally’s at least $100 million.
However, during testimony of former president Donald Trump’s fraud trial last week, Donald Trump Jr. indicated that the sales price stood at $60 million.
Cost of golf course less than reported for Bally’s
The former president’s namesake took the stand late last week in the $250 million lawsuit that alleges Trump and his co-defendants committed repeated fraud by inflating assets on financial statements to receive better terms on commercial real estate loans and insurance policies.
The civil trial threatens the Trump empire in that he could be prohibited from ever doing business in New York State and to dissolve his companies.
During his testimony, Trump Jr. was questioned about the ex-president’s finance and the Trump Organization’s business dealings. The exact price paid by Bally’s to take over Trump Links at Ferry Point had not been disclosed.
However, Trump Jr. said that Bally’s paid $60 million but that the Trump Organization had incurred “a lot of costs” over the years. As a result, he said, he was unsure of the net profit for the family business.
The Trump Organization had managed the 18-hole golf course since 2015. The city spent over $120 million to develop the course, designed by Jack Nicklaus and built on an old landfill.
Confidence abounds for potential downstate NY casino site
Earlier this year, Bally’s established the golf course at the base of Whitestone Bridge as a potential site for its downstate casino bid, which could pave the way to an iGaming license if lawmakers legalize online casinos in NY.
By September, the gaming company took over the lease to operate the course and promptly stripped the Trump moniker and renamed it Bally’s Golf Links.
Bally’s remains optimistic and confident that its casino plan will become one of three bids to receive a downstate casino license. Aside from its actual project plans, Bally’s has made strong inroads with the community, including launching a free 10-stop bus service.
Such a move has drawn praise even from casino detractors. Councilwoman Marjorie Velazquez, who represents an area covered by the Bally’s bus and who has not endorsed a Bally’s casino, called the area “a transit desert,” adding that “Bally’s stepped up to the plate.”