Mohegan Gaming Awarded Hellinikon Project Casino License

  • License awarded to a consortium led by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE)
  • Hard Rock International (HRI) has the right to appeal within 10 days
  • A legal challenge by HRI would likely result in the project being further delayed
  • Hellinikon integrated resort casino will have at least 120 tables games and 1,200 slots
Milos, Greece
A consortium led by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has been awarded the license to operate gaming at the ambitious Hellinikon project in Greece. [Image:]

Decision announced

The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HBC) has announced that the license to operate gaming at the Hellinikon integrated resort casino has been awarded to Mohegan Gaming and GEK Terna SA.

This means that Hard Rock International (HRI) now has a 10-day deadline to appeal the decision. HRI can also take this issue to the Council of State.

Hard Rock International (HRI) now has a 10-day deadline to appeal the decision

The ambitious project has been subject to numerous delays in recent years. However, authorities in Greece hope that development can now begin after finalizing the operating license. When development gets underway, it will be the biggest urban development project in Europe

Mohegan Gaming CEO Mario Kontomerkos spoke about the benefits that the project will bring to the local area. He said: “It is our hope that INSPIRE Athens would be the catalyst that sparks the entire development of the Hellenikon area into the coveted Athenian Riviera, forever redefining the modern identity of Greece.”

Ambitious project

No indication has been given as to how much money Mohegan and its local partner will be contributing to this project. The other bidder, HRI, had put forth a $1.1bn investment plan.

The casino will feature over 120 table games and more than 1,200 slot machines to keep players entertained.

Construction plans

Much of the design for this integrated resort will be inspired by Greek architectural history. This includes the likes of the Caryatids and the Acropolis.

The project developer is Lamda Development. It is happy that most of the issues that had been up in the air have now been resolved. It plans to start development as soon as the final few issues have been sorted out. 

To prepare for this project, Lamda Development increased its share capital by €650m ($721m) in December 2019. This was the largest such increase by a non-finance company in Greece over the past decade.

Working strategically with Lamda Development to complete this increase was Aegean Airlines. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development also helped in return for an equity stake in the construction firm of 1.8%.

Big boost for Greece

According to Lamda Development CEO Odysseas Athanasiou, Greece’s GDP will increase by 2% once this resort is up and running.

Most of the work is expected to be completed within the first five years. This includes a marina, the biggest shopping center in Greece, a breach, hotels, more than 800 apartments, and the casino. 

Greece’s GDP will increase by 2% once this resort is up and running

Potential backlash

Rumors that HRI would not be the recipient of the casino resort license surfaced last week. This led to an advisor for the company in Greece saying that the company would fight such a decision if it was made official. 

Doubts were raised about the capabilities of HRI to carry out this project. There was also an issue where an important document was not submitted to the authorities until a few days after a key deadline.

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