Should it be successful in acquiring a New York casino permit, Bally’s (NYSE: BALY) would likely strip the Trump name from the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. The regional casino operator is presently in negotiations with the Trump Organization to lease 17 acres from the 192-acre property leased by the former President’s company from the city.
In December 2020, Bally’s established an agreement with the Trump Organization, which allows them to take over the 17 acres, essentially subleasing the land. Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim stated to the New York Times that they can make payment at any time to take over the Trump Organization’s lease. The Trump Organization’s lease with the city is close to expiring, and the city must approve any new plans concerning the property.
The 17 acres Bally’s can sublease from the Trump Organization consist of the clubhouse, driving range, parking lot, and an area with signage bearing the former President’s surname. If the gaming company pays the Trump Organization and exercises their sublease rights, they can remove the Trump name as laid out in the agreement. Kim also shared with the Times that Bally’s would ideally like to buy the entire Ferry Point land, using a portion for their $2.5 billion casino-hotel while repurposing the remainder into parks and public green spaces.
The potential of Bally’s Bronx ambitions hinges on their success in securing one of the three downstate gaming permits. The competitive landscape includes MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World New York in Queens, with Bally’s and other companies such as Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, and Wynn Resorts battling for the remaining license to build a casino in the NYC area.
Considering the political leanings of NYC, taking away the Trump name may be a wise choice for Bally’s Bronx plans. There is some momentum among the local policymakers to make Ferry Point more accessible to the public and to create new jobs, which Bally’s has promised to do with 15,000 construction roles and 3,500 high-paying, permanent union positions. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) whose district contains the golf course, is also a factor to consider as she is not likely to be a supporter of either the former President or large business interests. In 2019, she led an effort to stop Amazon’s plans to