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The Casino Concession Tender for Hellinikon in Greece to Be Announced Later This Week
- February 20, 2019 By Oliver Young -
The news about Greece regulating gambling in efforts to generate more money to pay the country’s debts, and the huge casino complex building at the former Ellinikon International Airport near Athens provoked a frenzy last summer, and finally, it comes to an end. Greece is about to announce the start of the casino concession tender later this week.
It is predicted that this project will create 75,000 job positions once all the pieces fall in place. More than 1 million international tourists are expected to visit it each year.
Therefore, all giant land-based casino owners looking at Greece as their next possible expansion target have started with their moves. The concession tender will begin after the publication of the bidding process in the Office Journal of the European Union, after so many delays.
The main reason for the number of delays is the misunderstanding between Lambda Development and Greece. Lambda Development is the company who was given the massive land development contract. Finally, they have reached an agreement regarding the terms for a casino license, so as reported, the property will cost around €700 million or as much as €1 billion and will span around 49 acres.
Since they have managed to agree on the important things, there was no reason to delay the bidding process any more. The next step is for the Hellenic Gaming Commission to proceed with the concession process. The HGC will launch a 60-day bidding window which will enable any interested party to submit an application to receive the only gaming license by the HGC.
Who Is Interested to Join the Bidding Process?
When the news of the project first appeared, many giant land-based casino owners started eyeing Greece as a potential expansion strategy. Names like Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock and Mohegan, Miura Holdings, Las Vegas Sands, The Group Lucien Barriere, Clairevest Group and Melco Resorts & Entertainment were rumoured to show an interest, but none of that was officially confirmed.
But now we know. We can say with certainty that Mohegan Sun, Hard Rock International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are amongst the several companies that have officially expressed interest in operating in Greece. Of course, all bidders need to comply with HGC’s criteria regarding the monetary investment and the size of the endeavour and will have to agree to the payment structure as set by the HGC.
The Project and the Costs
In addition to meeting the criteria established by the HGC, the bidder will also be responsible for additional facilities such as a conference centre, a hotel, an event venue etc., even though these activities can be given to additional third parties.
The entire project will cover 1,532 acres which are a lot more than the 49 acres for the casino and is estimated to cost up to €8 billion. This is because the project, aside from the casino facilities, also includes tourism facilities, shopping centres, wellness and health centres, residential communities, museums, a business part and several other venues.