Bally’s Buys Trump Bronx Golf Course, Hopes for New York Casino License

Posted on: September 8, 2023, 06:03h. 

Last updated on: September 11, 2023, 11:32h.

Bally’s (NYSE: BALY) is reportedly purchasing Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, NY, in hopes of eventually building a casino on the property. The links is currently owned by the Trump Organization, President Donald Trump’s family conglomeration.

Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx, NY. Bally’s is rumored to be acquiring the Trump Organization’s lease there in hopes of building a casino. (Image: New York Times)

Citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the matter, The New York Post reported earlier today that the Rhode Island-based regional casino operator is purchasing the Trump Organization’s lease with New York City about the golf course. It’s believed the transaction is worth “tens of millions of dollars,” according to the Post.

The city and the Trump Organization reached a deal in 2015 to extend that lease by 20 years. In 2021, former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio — a Democrat — attempted to terminate that pact, citing the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC. 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 scrap that agreement.

If the Trump Organization was still the holder of the lease, the end date would appear as 2035 on the New York City Comptroller’s website, but the end date now reads Sept. 21, 2023, implying the lease has in fact changed hands. Bally’s isn’t mentioned on that site.

Bronx Cheer as Trump Name to Be Removed

While it hasn’t been confirmed that Bally’s is the new leaseholder, it’s widely expected the gaming company will live up to previous speculation and pull the Trump name from the golf course.

That’s to the delight of New York City Comptroller Brad Lander (D). Described in some circles as one of  the most left-leaning politicians in a city with a glut of them, Lander couldn’t contain his partisan views, telling the Post he’s happy the Trump “name will no longer deface city parkland.”

The New York Parks Department used more tact, noting that it’s in favor of the lease transfer to Bally’s and expects the gaming company “will deliver a high-quality golfing experience to New Yorkers.”

The casino operator is expected to change the name of the course to Bally’s Links.

Golf Isn’t Bally’s Business

Golf courses are not Bally’s core competency. Rather, the company acquired the Trump Golf Links lease with a single objective in mind: To build a casino hotel on the property.

Rumors regarding Bally’s mulling a New York casino hotel date back to at least 2021, and it’s one of nearly a dozen operators vying for one of the three downstate casino permits regulators are expected to award sometime next year.

Where Bally’s ranks as a contender remains to be seen, but conventional wisdom currently dictates that MGM’s Empire City Casino Yonkers and Resorts World New York in Queens will be “grandfathered” into casino permits, leaving just one up for grabs.

Recent speculation suggests that Las Vegas Sands (Long Island) and Wynn Resorts (Manhattan) are the leaders for the other permit. Still, Bally’s could enter that conversation by pitching a location outside of Manhattan.