Bally’s Bronx Casino Gets Boost From New York Parkland Rezoning Bill

A Bally’s Bronx casino project can’t get underway until the former Trump golf course is rezoned. So, on May 28, state Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow sponsored legislation allowing “parkland in Ferry Point Park” to be changed to “gaming facility” use.

AB10460 gives the Bally’s Golf Links at Ferry Point 15 years to be built. If the parcel isn’t used for a casino within that time, it will be reverted to parkland.

The bill introduced by Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, deals with an issue that’s stalling formal applications for retail casino licenses by Bally’s Corporation (Bally’s Corporation 11,22 -4,67%) and other possible downstate casino developers.

They have unresolved land issues.

Pretlow and his counterpart in the Senate, Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., have legislation pending that would allow gaming regulators to consider license applications from developers still dealing with those land use issues.

Addabbo, D-Woodhaven, told Bonus that allowing developers to apply while simultaneously attempting to resolve their land use issues would mean New York coffers could fill with about $2.75 billion. He believes bids on the three new full casino licenses and the number of applications that cost $1 million to file will generate at least that much revenue by March 2025.

AB10460 and the casino licensing bills, AB10338 and SB9673, must pass in both chambers of the New York State Legislature by the time the body adjourns on June 6. At that point, Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul can decide whether to sign the measures into law. That’s likely to happen because she’s voiced support several times for expanding legal gambling via retail casinos.

Conversely, Hochul hasn’t yet backed any New York online casino bills. Perhaps that’s because the retail casino workers union, the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC), has opposed them.

Bally’s didn’t return a request for comment from Bonus on May 29.

Are There Casinos in New York City?

Surprisingly, the downstate retail casino licensing process has New Yorkers asking if there are casinos in the city.

The answer is: Yes. One gaming facility exists within the five boroughs: Resorts World New York City is in Addabbo’s Queens district.

Another casino is located downstate but not in the Bronx, despite some geographical confusion in search results.

“Is there a casino in the Bronx” should result in a “no.” However, Google pulls up results for Empire City in Yonkers. The MGM Resorts International (MGM Resorts International 40,39 +1,36%) property is located north of the Bronx.

Both gaming facilities are heavy favorites among forecasters predicting which entities will submit applications for full commercial casino licenses once the board appointed by the gaming regulator requests those submissions.

From ‘Trump Links’ to Bally’s Bronx Casino

Once known as Trump Golf Links Ferry Point, the possible site of the future Bally’s Bronx casino is now called Bally’s Golf Links at Ferry Point.

In September 2023, Bally’s took over the lease on the public golf course. The Associated Press reported then that part of the city’s motivation was for Bally’s to erase all traces of the Trump Organization. That would also rid the parkland of any reference to former President Donald J. Trump, “whose bold-faced name has for years greeted drivers passing the course on the Whitestone Bridge.”

Bally’s initially planned to sub-lease the land.

City leaders didn’t want the park associated with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.

However, Trump news hasn’t slowed down. On May 29, 2024, the New York Times reported jurors in the “Trump Hush-Money Trial” were dismissed from their first day of deliberations at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.

Meanwhile, Pretlow’s bill to rezone the golf course for Bally’s remains in the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cities.

If lawmakers don’t approve the rezoning, it may mean the end of the $2.5 billion project by Bally’s.

An $8 billion casino proposal died a similar death on May 28, when state Sen. Jessica Ramos, D-East Elmhurst, announced she wouldn’t co-sponsor a rezoning bill. AB5688 would have changed parkland at Flushing Meadows Corona Park to gaming facility-eligible. New York Mets owner Steven A. Cohen wanted to include a Hard Rock International casino in a 50-acre project in Queens.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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