A 300-acre golf course operating atop a former landfill on city parkland in Throggs Neck adorning the name Donald Trump has brought as much controversy as it has golfers in recent years.
But the future of the golf course could now be reenvisioned with slot machines, card games and crap tables in its future.
Bally’s, a large gaming and betting company that operates an Atlantic City casino, is hoping to break into New York’s growing casino industry, making an offer to the Trump Corporation to operate on 17 acres of land at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, which was first reported by the New York Post.
Only 10 of the 17 acres Bally’s has negotiated with the Trump Organization will be designated for casino use with the remaining land potentially used for employee housing, according to the Post.
However, the tentative agreement would need to clear a few city and state hurdles to be readied for construction.
Casino proposals must be approved by a local community advisory committee that the city’s top electeds, including the governor, mayor, local state senator, assemblymember, city councilmember and the borough president.
The final go-ahead lies with the state’s Gaming Commission. Bally’s will need to submit their first set of questions regarding their proposal by next month, a spokesperson from the commission told the Bronx Times.
The Bronx Times reached out to Bally’s and the Trump Organization on Monday and are still awaiting response.
Some like Throggs Neck Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez, whose district includes Trump Links, believe Bally’s bid could be the start of renewed interested in the golf course and it’s green space, which has been notoriously pricey land to operate.
“I think there is an exciting opportunity to reimagine what exists in this space. We need more public green space in the Bronx, we need housing and jobs. Any project I would consider would need to offer a tangible benefit to my community, particularly local hiring and ensuring quality union jobs,” said Velázquez. “There is a clear process the city and state need to go through before a project is a possibility on this site. I am more than open to hearing the best ideas to create jobs, revenue, more housing, and green space for my community.”
Bally’s bid could be a job creation machine — 15,000 construction jobs and more than 3,500 permanent, high-paying union gigs with salaries starting at $70,000 — according to the Post’s sources.
The property is owned by the city and Trump’s real estate company has a 20-year contract with the Parks Department to operate it as a golf course.
Trump is the sole guarantor, CEO and president of Trump Ferry Point LLC while longtime Trump Organization CFO and Trump accountant Allen Weisselberg, who plead guilty to 15 felony charges last year, was the CFO and executive vice president for the entity when the contract was struck.
With Bally’s looking to make a gamble in the Bronx, three gambling licenses are up for grabs this year. Last April, the state Legislature authorized up to three casino licenses for downstate New York, which includes New York City, Long Island and Westchester County.
MGM Resorts Empire City Casino, which is located at Yonkers Raceway, already operates as a racino with horse racing, slot machines and virtual gaming.
The legalization of casinos was first approved in the state in 2013, with seven authorized to include dealer tables and a sports book — four casinos were authorized to open and operate upstate before the downtown licenses were granted.
State gambling regulators have said previously that these licenses will be announced “later in 2023 at the earliest.”
Each applicant must pay a $1 million application fee to the state’s Gaming Commission, according to the governing body’s website.
The Bronx Times also reached out to Empire City and is awaiting a response.
— Aliya Schneider contributed to this report
Reach Robbie Sequeira at [email protected] or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes