Analyst Says New York Casino Plans Won't Be Known Until 2025

US Bets
Analyst Says New York Casino Plans Won't Be Known Until 2025
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Gambling industry analyst Brendan Bussmann of B Global disagrees with the common assessment that the process of awarding three downstate casino licenses in New York is going slowly.

“It’s not fair to [the word] ‘slow,’” Bussmann quipped. “This process has been the opposite of quick and painless.”

In fact, Bussmann believes we’ve still got a whole additional calendar year before New Yorkers find out where these three casinos are going to end up.

In a note to analysts for Truist Securities, Bussmann expressed his belief that 2025 will be the year in which the licenses are finally awarded by the New York State Gaming Commission. Maybe.

“Based upon the current process, and the subsequent hoops that need to still be achieved, 2025 might be the earliest that one would begin to see a decision made on the three potential licensees — and likely in the second half of the year,” he wrote. 

In a conversation with US Bets, Bussmann added that even after the licenses are awarded, the idea of putting on a black tie and hitting the roulette wheel in midtown Manhattan (if, indeed, one of the five Manhattan plans is chosen) is still years away.

“If you’re building something new, if you’re a midtown Manhattan project, you’re looking at a 40-48 month construction calendar,” he said. “Get approval in January 2025, let’s say. You’re looking at least six months for final approvals, final design, final touches, that puts you at July. And you’re, minimum, looking at four years, 4½ years construction. You’re looking at 2029, 2030 before you see a casino from the ground up.”

Bussmann did note non-midtown properties — specifically the sites at Yonkers and Aqueduct — would theoretically be up and running quicker, but still …

“Welcome to the circus,” Bussmann said. “This process is delayed beyond belief.”

Like sands through an hourglass

Meanwhile, despite the ongoing delays, Las Vegas Sands — which doesn’t have a casino resort property anywhere in the U.S. anymore — is still 100% invested in getting a casino resort up and running in New York.

Its plan is not a Manhattan joint. Sands is looking to build on the site of the old Nassau Coliseum, where the New York Islanders hoisted four Stanley Cups and where the Grateful Dead played 42 times.

“This is simply an extraordinary opportunity. We are very excited about the prospect,” Sands Chairman and CEO Rob Goldstein said on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call a few weeks back. “Our bid is compelling. [If] we are awarded the license, we will be in the ground as quickly as possible.”

In April, Las Vegas Sands signed a preliminary 99-year lease agreement with Nassau County to build on the 80-acre site.