Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment has reportedly expressed interest in bidding for a casino license at Athens former Ellinikon International Airport, as the Hellenic Gaming Commission is preparing to launch an international tender, according to Greek Reporter.
Reuters reports that it was told by a Finance Ministry official that soon an adviser for the tender would be hired.
This after last Thursday’s 111-page ruling from Greece’s top administrative court approving a development project (“The Hellinikon Project”) planned by property developer LAMDA Development S.A. (LAMDA:ATH).
According to Reuters, the Greece-headquartered property developer signed a 99-year lease in 2014 with the state to convert 6,200,000 square meters of wasteland at Ellinikon into a multi-purpose complex of hotels, luxury residences, a casino and a yachting marina.
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GTP reports that the casino will occupy a 161,458 square foot space in one of the skyscrapers, including 86,111 square feet for gambling halls, on the Ellinikon premises, with the license awarded firm retaining operating rights for up to 30 years.
Upon completion, it will reportedly be the first integrated casino resort in Europe.
The new casino license is a key conditionality for an investment of 8 billion euros (approx. US$9.7 billion) by LAMDA for the site’s renovation.
Reuters reports that Greece’s creditors are keeping a close watch on the progress of the delay-plagued project as a test of the commitment by the government to privatizations under a multi-billion bailout.
The Feb. 22 ruling stated that in addition to improving the standard of living: “The creation of a metropolitan multipurpose space as a national and international reference point, the construction and maintenance of a metropolitan park in Attica, and the establishment of an hub which will serve as a center for development in the region with multiple objectives, including easing the acute economic crisis, developing the national economy, increasing employment and reducing unemployment, combating poverty, enhancing social cohesion, reducing public debt, highlighting Athens as a cultural metropolis, a tourist attraction of international acclaim, an important center of economic growth and entrepreneurship, is in the best interest of the public,” according to GTP.
Announced in 2016, the project at the former site of the Ellinikon Airport is located 4.3 miles south of Athens.