Bally’s targets New York licence with plans for Trump Links resort

Another US operator has set its sights on the Empire State as Bally’s Corporation has entered its bid for an NY casino licence, outlining plans to build a resort on the site of the current Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point

The New York State Gaming Commission has allowed for three state casino licences, and Bally’s aims to claim one in order to change part of the golf course in the Bronx into a casino establishment. 

According to a report from the New York Times, Bally’s found a deal with the Trump Organization to control 17 of the property’s 192 acres for a $2.5bn casino project. 

If successful in its licence application and casino project, Bally’s would be allowed to remove the ‘Trump Links’ name from the property under the terms of the reported deal.

Soo Kim, Chair of Bally’s Corporation, told the New York Times that the company has “the right to exercise our option at any time to make a payment and essentially step into their lease.”

Bally’s is also rumoured to be considering a further deal for more space on the Trump property. However, any new project on the site would have to be approved by New York City as the Trump Organization still has less than 20 years left on its current lease.

The Bally’s Chair also signalled a potential second casino bid, declaring that a lease option has been considered for nine acres in Willets Point. The operator also recently gained crucial city council support for its $1.7bn Chicago project.

Bally’s are not alone in their New York interest, with a host of organisations staking their claim for one of the three commercial casino licences, which are to cost a licence fee of $500m each. 

In partnership with SL Green and Roc Nation, Caesars Entertainment has pushed for a Time Square casino development. Meanwhile, Mohegan has linked-up with Soloviev Group in the latter’s bid as the casino partnership of Freedom Plaza in New York. 

While the NYSGC is yet to publicly announce exactly when bidders will be selected, rumours continue to circle with reports that MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts are all also interested.