Application process over
The application process for the planned $8.8bn casino resort in Greece has now come to an end. Two operators remain in the running for this license, following numerous deadline extensions.
According to the Greek gaming commission, the two operators are Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (in partnership with local company GEK Terna) and the Hard Rock Rock International.
the successful candidate will be announced toward the end of November
Operators had until 8am on October 4 to submit their applications for this 30-year operating license.
Expectations are that the successful candidate will be announced toward the end of November. The chosen operator will then able to proceed with the creation of a casino on the approved $8.8bn Hellinikon resort.
This resort will be built where the former Athens airport was situated. It will be called Elliniko, and Lamda has been named as the developer for the project.
Potential benefits for Greece
The Greek government hopes that this resort will be a major attraction for tourists, as it would be one of the only casino resort facilities of its kind in Europe.
The government hopes to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to boost tourism revenues. This would be a massive help to the country’s economy, which has been struggling badly for over a decade.
This project has been hit with numerous delays. Among the delays was a campaign launched by anti-gambling groups regarding the creation of this casino facility. These groups believe that such a facility would damage the cultural heritage of the country, as well as the environment.
groups believe that such a facility would damage the cultural heritage of the country
There have been four delays to the project to date. These delays resulted in two major casino companies – Genting Group and Caesars Entertainment – losing interest and withdrawing from the process.
The Greek government said that there will be no more delays to the project following the withdrawal of these companies. The government will also be accelerating the licensing process as much as possible to allow the project to get started once the successful applicant has been announced.
Other gambling moves
Greece is currently in the process of updating its online gambling sector by issuing new licenses to operators. New regulations are in place that will bring the country’s gambling laws up to date.
A number of major global online gambling operators are currently on a blacklist in Greece, including GVC Holdings.