Back in December, a state-appointed board recommended granting casino licenses to three companies in upstate New York. Then this past Wednesday, following a public backlash, the board gave the nod to an additional fourth bid in the Southern Tier. But while those decisions marked the end of a long, expensive and uncertain journey for the 16 bidders involved, it was in a way just the beginning for the chosen projects, which are waiting on the state to hand down the final licensing document.

“We’re on track to issue the gaming licenses before the end of the year,” said Lee Park, a spokesman for the state Gaming Commission. “To keep it in context, it’s been about a year, and we’re moving at veritable light speed compared to other states (like Massachusetts or Pennsylvania).”

While the new rules went into effect Sept. 30, Park says this was “only one piece of the puzzle”: The commission has also been working to incorporate updates to the applications submitted by the companies, while the state police have been conducting thorough background investigations – both of which need to be completed before a final licensing document can be drafted and handed down.

From the time the final licenses are issued, the casinos will legally have 24 months to complete construction and open their doors. Here’s a brief update on where each one stands.