Bally’s Enters the Race for the Limited New York Licenses

The New York State Gaming Commission recently opened the application bidding process for three new downstate casino licenses, and the list of applicants continues to grow. Bally’s is the latest operator to submit its proposal. While the operator’s project seems sound, it will have to compete with other industry heavyweights sporting equally compelling propositions.

The Operator Has Made Extensive Plans

Bally’s proposed new casino will occupy part of Ferry Point’s Trump Golf Link. The plans place the new establishment in a prime location in the Bronx, occupying 17 of the course’s 192 acres. The operator has already reached an agreement with the Trump Organization, which gave its approval for the $2.5 billion casino project.

If Bally’s successfully secures one of the coveted licenses, it will gain the right to remove the former president’s name from the golf course, hopefully avoiding any negative associations. Bally’s Corporation chairman Soo Kim stated in an interview for the New York Times that the company was ready to proceed as soon as it received a license.

We have the right to exercise our option at any time to make a payment and essentially step into their lease.

Soo Kim, Bally’s Corporation chairman

Building a casino at Trump Golf Link presents several hurdles despite initial arrangements. Since the property is still under lease with the city, Bally’s will need to secure regulatory approval to repurpose the land. Furthermore, the course stands on a former landfill, which could complicate the construction process.

All These Preparations May Be for Naught

The above considerations would still be pointless if Bally’s does not secure one of the three available New York casino licenses. The operator will have to compete with established and successful venues like MGM-owned Empire City Casino and Resorts World New York City, which can easily upgrade. Industry heavyweights like Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts have also expressed interest.

Overall, at least ten companies have entered the contest with a spattering of projects varying in size and scope. For example, integrated resorts company Las Vegas Sands recently announced plans for a new multi-billion-dollar integrated casino project in Nassau County, western Long Island. The NYGC has kept quiet regarding their preferred specifications, so Bally’s still stands a chance.

The company is in an excellent position to pursue expansion opportunities, explaining its New York hopes. The recent preliminary Q4 and full-year results showed record profits in the Casinos & Resorts sectors, encouraging investments into these verticals. The operator’s project for a new $1.7 billion flagship casino in Chicago is proceeding as planned, recently clearing another big regulatory hurdle.