Bally’s is seeking to expand its gambling empire into The Bronx, hoping to snag one of up to three downstate casino licenses that New York State may issue in the near future.
The corporation, which has over 15,000 slot machines and 600 table games across 15 casinos, among other assets such as over 5,000 hotel rooms, is seeking to snag 17 acres at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park in Throggs Neck.
According to an agreement between Bally’s and the Trump Organization, 10 of the 17 acres at the failing golf course would be for the actual casino, and the remaining 7 acres would be for staff housing and green space.
The endeavor would create over 3,500 jobs as well as 15,000 construction jobs, according to an article in The New York Post but besides Bally’s actually getting the license for the casino from New York State, they would have to get approvals for such usage at the location given the fact that it is public parkland.
While The Bronx could undoubtedly use the jobs and potential economic benefits from such an endeavor, these types of venues always bring concerns and controversies along with them. However, people will still gamble, so perhaps we might as well have a place within the borough for them to do so rather than losing the thousands of Bronxites who go across the border to Yonkers at the Empire Casino and Raceway.
Ultimately, local residents in the immediate area should have a voice in what they would like to see in their own backyard and if this makes sense for them, given the fact that they will have to live with the consequences of having a casino in their own neighborhood.
So far, the proposal has been met with a warm response from local elected officials.
Assemblymember Mike Benedetto and State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, who both represent the area at the state level, told Politico in separate statements agree that, while the proposal could be a tremendous economic boom for the neighborhood, local input from area residents on the matter is a must.
New York City Council Member Marjorie Velazquez also signaled that the proposed casino would be a good fit for the borough in a statement to The New York Post and that it would open up the golf course to local residents that currently cannot utilize it due to the high costs associated with golfing at the course.
You may recall that last year when the New York State budget was enacted in the previous year, it provided for the addition of three new casinos, and Assemblymember Amanda Septimo and New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr both floated the idea of bringing a casino to the Hunts Point waterfront, but eventually, nothing ever came of it.