The state of New York is apparently spending time issuing three Downstate Casino licenses. During that time, many experts, analysts, and investors have the opportunity to speculate on the topic and its details. This was a case in which Wall Street experts raised the question of how long the process would take at a recent gambling conference in Atlantic City.
Three available licenses for the downtown area have been issued for some time now. Finally, the state has launched an application request process led by the Game Facilities Location Committee, which will now review bids from third-party candidates. The license is expected to be announced by the end of this year.
At a recent conference, Wall Street investors say the downstate process will be a long-term process. Duane Bullini, managing director of Wells Fargo Bank Security, noted that the issuance will take time as who first awards the bid, then the state selects the winner and eventually goes through the process of building a new casino.
Mr. Bouligny and others on the panel predict that it could take three or four years for a full-scale commercial casino to debut in New York City. Meanwhile, a completely new game facility built on the ground will not come to fruition until 2030. Mr Bouligny also noted that many of the current winning criteria are unknown.
Currently, two existing gaming facilities in New York City are leading the race for two of the available licenses, potentially expanding to full-scale licenses and moving quickly. The most popular are MGM Resorts International’s Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Genting Group’s Resort World New York City at the Acuduct Racecourse in Queens.
It’s essentially a third fight for the rest of the stakeholders, with the two casinos nearly nailed to get two of the licenses. Companies and alliances that have already submitted proposals include Caesars Entertainment, Mohegan Gaming, Hard Rock International, Ballis Corporation, Wynn Resorts, Saratoga Casino Holdings, and Las Vegas Sands.
Mohit Kansal, managing director of ClareBest Group, said local complaints would make building new properties almost impossible. For example, Hofstra University on Long Island opposed attempts to host casinos in Las Vegas Sands’ Nassau County. Meanwhile, the Times Square Alliance opposed Caesars Entertainment’s bid to host Midtown gaming facilities.
Finally, Jordan Bender, chief stock research analyst at JMP Securities, said that if the state wants fast tax revenues, it will choose existing gaming facilities in Yonkers and Queens. He believes that this will take about a year to expand existing facilities, and that the process will continue to operate and generate taxes for the state budget.