Gambling Legislation

New York bill would open the door to casino for Bally’s

New York bill would open the door to casino for Bally's

Only by rezoning the Bronx would Bally’s be able to fulfill its New York casino goals

The Bally’s Casino project in the Bronx can’t begin construction until the former Trump golf course is rezoned. As a result, State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mount Vernon) introduced legislation on May 28 to permit “parkland in Ferry Point Park” to be rezoned for “gaming facility” use.

AB10460 gives a 15-year window for constructing Bally’s Golf Links at Ferry Point. If no casino is built within that time, the area will be reverted back to parkland. The bill also addresses the land issues that have been holding up casino license applications from Bally’s and other possible downstate developers.

Pretlow’s proposal to rezone the golf course for Bally’s is still awaiting approval from the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cities. If legislators fail to advance the bill, it could mean termination of the $2.5 billion Bally’s project.

Both Pretlow and Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (D-Woodhaven) have introduced proposals to push regulators to accept applications from developers waiting for those issues to be resolved.

Addabbo believes that developers should be permitted to apply while waiting for land issues to be settled. This would mean the state could earn about another $2.75 billion in revenue from application fees by March 2025.

Legislators have until June 6, the final day of the session, to approve AB10460 and two casino licensing bills, AB10338 and SB9673. Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul has consistently proclaimed her support for casino expansion and would likely sign the measures into law.

However, the Governor has yet to back any New York online casino legislation, perhaps under pressure from the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC), the casino worker’s union that opposes online expansion.

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