The Greek Government is adamant that the deadline for bids to operate a new casino as part of the €8bn Hellinikon Project is set in stone, after three previous delays has seen the country’s gaming regulator stipulate Monday 30 September.
Being undertaken at the former airport at Elliniko, what was once Athens’ airport complex, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, Hard Rock International and Genting are said to be the three organisations in the running to secure the only gaming licence on offer.
Three ministerial decisions are said be imminent, with those involving the park, coastline development and the casino expected to be approved by August 27, and a fourth, involving a plethora of further construction, anticipated by August 30.
The casino, being lauded as Europe’s first integrated casino resort and the first Hellinikon investment, will include gaming-integrated hotels, convention facilities, entertainment shows, theme parks, luxury retail and fine dining, and is set to occupy approximately 15,000 square metres of the 6,200,000 square metre Hellinikon Project.
The wider multi-faceted construction is also slated to incorporate a metropolitan park, shops, offices, sports and conference facilities, luxury hotels, museums, malls, cultural venues, health centres, educational and research facilities and a marina.
It’s Connecticut headquartered MGE that are thought to be front-runners to secure the rights to the new casino project, with the firm having already aligned with local contractor Gek Terna and CEO Mario Kontomerkos believed to have visited the country several times following the government releasing its casino ambitions.
Addressing his firm’s plans, Kontomerkos has previously stated: “Our objective is to implement at Hellinikon a sizeable investment, through our vast experience in global developments, that will be a game changer for the local and national tourism industry. The project will create thousands of workplaces while it will offer multiple benefits to the Greek economy”.
This forms the latest international expansion strategy explored by MGE, with the $5bn development of its South Korea-based Project Inspire ongoing, Niagara Gaming Bundle secured in Canada and Hokkaido targeted in Japan.