Bally’s bid for New York casino at Trump Golf Links in the Bronx

Clubhouse of Trump Golf Links
Image: John Penney/Shutterstock

Bally’s Corporation has reportedly entered its bid for a casino license in New York state, as it has plans to build a resort on the site of the current Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

Entering its bid for one of the Empire State’s three casino licenses up for grabs from the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), the operator wants to change the golf course location into a new gaming venue.

Covering 192 acres, the course sits on land that the Trump Organization leases from New York City. According to a report from the New York Times, Bally’s reached an agreement with the organization last December to control 17 of the 192 acres for its new casino project estimated to cost $2.5bn.

If it exercises this option, Bally’s would also be allowed to remove the ‘Trump Links’ name from the property when it builds its casino. This is reportedly included in the 17 acres deal the company will control for its casino bid.

Excluding the golf course itself, other parts of the site included in the agreement are the golf course’s clubhouse, practice facilities, and parking lot. Yet, construction on the site will be difficult since it is built on a former landfill.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation, told the Times that the company has “the right to exercise our option at any time to make a payment and essentially step into their lease.” Kim is also reportedly in talks for the rest of the 192 acres with the Trump Organization.

However, since the Trump Organization still has less than 20 years left on its current lease with the city, any new project on the site would have to be approved first by the city.

Kim also noted that Bally’s has a lease option for nine acres in Willets Point for a potential second casino bid. The company was also recently approved to build a $1.7bn casino resort in Chicago.

New York casino bids

Several operations have expressed interest in different sites across New York. Each of the three commercial casino licenses will require applicants to pay a minimum capital investment and license fee of $500m each.

  • Caesars Entertainment, in partnership with SL Green and Roc Nation, is bidding to construct a casino in Times Square near Broadway.
  • HBC, the parent company of the department store Saks Fifth Avenue, has proposed a casino project on the upper floors of the Saks Fifth Avenue building. 
  • Solviev Group and Mohegan Gaming have a joint bid for Freedom Plaza, a casino project located between the 34th Street ferry and Grand Central Station. 
  • MGM Resort’s Empire City Casino is seeking a casino license for its Yonkers location
  • Las Vegas Sands is bidding for a license following its long-term lease agreement of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island.
  • Vornado Realty Trust – NYC’s second-largest commercial landlord – reportedly wants to build a casino on the site of Hotel Pennsylvania near Penn Station.

Other bidders for a New York casino include New York Mets Owner Steve Cohen, Bet on Games Holdings, Wynn Resorts, and a group consisting of Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming Solutions, and Legends Global Planning.

However, the NYSGC is yet to publicly announce exactly when bidders for its three casino licenses on offer will be selected.