Bally's eyes NYC casino next to Trump's Bronx golf course

New York Post
Bally's eyes NYC casino next to Trump's Bronx golf course
Wild Casino

Gaming giant Bally’s is betting on The Bronx — by proposing a casino next to the Trump Organization’s public golf course at Ferry Point, The Post has learned.

Sources familiar with the corporation’s plan said its officials have engaged in discussions with the Trump Org about assigning 17 of the 300 acres on the site to Bally’s to operate a casino.

The property is owned by the city and the real estate company — former President Donald Trump’s business empire now run by two of his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump — has a 20-year contract with the Parks Department to operate it as a golf course.

Bally’s plan would only require 10 acres for its casino, with the other seven going to a green space or other uses such as housing for workers, according to the sources.

Long-term, Bally’s would like to take over the entire property — which was once a garbage dump — from the Trump Org, sources familiar with the casino company’s thinking said.

The project could create over 15,000 construction jobs and more than 3,500 permanent, high-paying union gigs with salaries starting at $70,000, plus benefits and retirement, sources familiar with the project said.

Bally’s confirmed its blockbuster plan for a casino next to the course at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in a statement to The Post on Sunday.

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

“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,” the statement said. “Our vision, which includes transforming a former waste disposal site and a high-end golf course into a world class entertainment destination, with a focus on workforce housing and new and improved public green space at the center of the project.”

Bally’s vowed that Bronx small businesses and residents will have the opportunity to “share in the economic prosperity and access to amenities” provided by the casino “for generations to come.”

“We couldn’t be more grateful at the prospect of writing the next chapter of Bally’s storied history in the Bronx,” the spokesperson said.

The Trump Org, which previously operated casinos in Atlantic City, had no immediate comment.

A state siting board will soon accept proposals to consider issuing up to three downstate casino licenses.

Bally’s is the only gaming firm putting its chips on a casino in The Bronx.

The owners of the existing slots parlors at the Aqueduct race track in Ozone Park, Queens and Yonkers race track — Genting/ Resorts World and MGM’s Empire City — are expected to submit bids to expand their offerings to include table games.

Meanwhile, Mets owner Steve Cohen is eyeing a casino near the team’s Citi Field in Willets Point, Queens. A 25,000-seat professional soccer stadium is also planned in the vicinity.

Others planning bids to operate a casino include the Steve Ross-Related Companies/Wynn Resorts partnership for Hudson Yards, the landlord SL Green/Caesars Entertainment team in Times Square and a consortium pushing for a gaming facility in Coney Island, whose partners include Legends, which is co-owned by the Yankees organization.

Bronx Councilwoman Marjorie Velazquez, whose district includes the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, said she was bullish on having a casino there.

“It’s really great for The Bronx,” Velazquez said Sunday.

She foresees good union paying jobs at the casino with a spillover effect to boost mom and pop businesses nearby.

Velazquez said the Trump golf course is too expensive and most of her constituents can’t afford to swing clubs there.

“It’s an opportunity to reimagine what is possible at the site. I’m very proud to have The Bronx part of the conversation.”

Bally’s has some New York roots. Its Chairman, Soo Kim, grew up in Queens and the firm is owner of one of the sports betting licenses in New York.

It’s bringing in some politically connected Bronx big wigs on board to make its case. Stanley Schlein, the lawyer with deep ties to the Bronx Democratic Party and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), just registered as a lobbyist for Bally’s.

Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Adams said, “We’re not going to comment on a proposal that has yet to be submitted and in which we’re not the one making a decision on” — noting that the state will issue the casino licenses.

City Council members have been pressuring the Adams administration to yank the Ferry Point golf course lease from the Trump Org which is set to expire in April 2032. The company has taken heat for agreeing to host a Saudi-financed women’s golf tournament at Ferry Point.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio in January 2021 announced he was ending the city’s contract with the Trump Org over management of the golf course, claiming he had authority to do so because of Trump’s “criminal” role in the Jan. 6, 2021 US Capitol riot.

But a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled last April that the city had wrongfully terminated the 20-year contract.