More Details Shed on Greece’s New $8-Billion Casino Resort

After the Greek Council of State gave last week the green light to the Hellenic Gaming Commission to prepare and launch a bidding process for casino operators interested to join the $8-billion plan for an integrated resort near Athens, more details about the gaming portion of the mega-scheme have emerged across local news outlets.

Greek developer Lamda Development, together with a group of investors from Abu Dhabi and China, has previously announced plans to redevelope a 620-hectare site near the capital Athens. The site had been occupied by the Ellinikon International Airport (often referred to as Hellinikon) prior to 2001.

The area will now be converted into a coastal resort with hotel, residential, food and beverage, retail, and entertainment facilities, including a casino.

Late last week, Greece’s top administrative court allowed the country’s casino industry regulator to prepare the necessary paperwork and to launch a call for bids from companies that are interested in obtaining a license for the operation of the gaming portion of the urban development project. According to reports from Greek media, the bidding process is expected to be opened in the fall of 2018.

Las Vegas casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. had been the first to express interest in participating in the major scheme. The company’s main operating unit exited bankruptcy last fall and announced that it would look to extend its geographical presence across new jurisdictions. Caesars operates more than 40 casino venues across the United States and has reportedly been eying opportunities to enter Japan, Brazil, and Australia’s casino industries.

Developers behind the Hellinikon project believe that more casino operators would express interest, once the bidding process is open.

More Details about the Gaming Portion of the Future Resort

According to Greek media outlets, the casino resort will be located in one of the 45-story towers that will be constructed as part of the larger complex. The casino resort will feature a five-star hotel with 1,200 rooms and suits, a conference facility, a thalassotherapy center, and multiple other facilities.

The casino will spread across 15,000 square meters. The gaming portion of the facility will occupy 8,000 square meters. The remaining 7,000 square meters will be used for other, non-gaming, facilities.

The casino resort only is expected to create 7,500 new jobs. According to preliminary forecasts, the casino at the complex could be able to generate €700 million in gross gaming revenue in the long term. The whole Hellinikon complex is expected to create 10,000 new jobs during construction and more than 70,000 during its first five to six years of operations.

Once it opens doors, the major integrated resort will have to compete with the nearby City of Dreams Mediterranean, which is currently under construction in the Republic of Cyprus. The resort is slated to be launched in the early 2020s.

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