Bally’s (NYSE: BALY) is reportedly in talks with the Trump Organization — the conglomerate controlled by former President Donald Trump’s family — to bring a casino hotel to the Bronx, N.Y.
The New York Post reports the regional casino operator is discussing using a small amount of the acreage near the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. The Trump Organization and the city of New York own the land. Bally’s and the Trump Organization are said to be talking about 17 of the 300 acres, though the gaming company would likely only need 10, according to the Post.
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,” the Post reported, citing unidentified sources familiar with the matter.
The Trump Organization holds an array of business interests and is currently run by the former president’s two sons — Donald Jr. and Eric. The company’s bread and butter consists of commercial real estate, high-end golf courses, and luxury hotels, including a 50% interest in an eponymous venue just off the Las Vegas Strip. Trump friend and donor Phil Ruffin owns the other half of that property.
Rumors regarding Bally’s mulling a New York casino hotel date back to at least 2021, indicating there could be viability to the speculation about talks with the Trump Organization.
The Rhode Island-based gaming operator is the first in the industry to float the idea of a gaming venue in the Bronx. To date, rivals Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ: WYNN), among others, are eyeing Manhattan for a New York casino, while Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) is focusing on Long Island. Other entities are pursuing Brooklyn and Queens as potential homes for a new gaming venue.
Bottom line: Bally’s is entering a crowded field — one many observers believe is vying for just one casino permit. Currently, Bally’s doesn’t operate a New York gaming property, but it holds a sports betting license in the state.
Bally’s isn’t a stranger to bidding for casino projects in major cities. The company was successful in its pursuit to bring a casino hotel to Chicago — that city’s first — but some analysts pondered whether or not the operator has the financial resources to build the $1.7 billion Windy City property while pursuing opportunities in other large metropolitan areas.
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point sits on land that used to be a garbage dump. But weekday green fees of $162, or $195 on the weekend for New Yorkers belie that interesting history. Golfers that aren’t New York residents are charged $208 during the week, and $240 Friday through Sunday.
In January 2021, former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio — a Democrat — attempted to scrap the city’s contract with Trump pertaining to the golf course. He cited the former president’s alleged criminal role in the Jan. 6, 2021 incident at the US Capitol Building. No criminal court has found the 45th president guilty of January 6-related crimes, and in April 2022, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled that de Blasio was wrong to scuttle that agreement.
It’s possible that if it wins a casino license, Bally’s will move to acquire all of the Ferry Point land in the future, according to the Post.