Greek Gambling Regulator to Begin Preparations for Hellinikon Casino Bidding Process Soon

The Hellenic Gaming Commission is planning to begin preparations for the launch of a bidding process for the construction of a casino as part of the Hellinikon integrated resort project within the next 20 days, local news outlets reported.

Last week, the Greek Council of State, known to be the country’s top administrative court, gave the green light to the local casino regulator to commence work on the call for tender process. The Gaming Commission will now have to prepare the necessary documentation so that the bidding process is conducted in a proper manner.

According to local media, the regulatory body is planning to complete the necessary preparations by June of this year. Two consultants will be hired to guide the Commission through the process. However, it is believed that the actual call for bids would not be launched before September, if no legal obstacles occur. If hurdles of legal or any other nature emerge, the process could be delayed to the end of the year.

The Hellinikon project includes the redevelopment of a 620-hectare coastal site that had previously been occupied by the Ellinikon International Airport. It had previously served as the Greek capital’s international airport for six decades.

Details about the Mega-Scheme

Greek real estate developer LAMDA Development plans to invest more than $8 billion into converting the former airport into a lavish coastal resort. The Greek company has been approached by investors from China and Abu Dhabi to work together on the major project.

The mega-scheme involves the construction of several high-rise buildings and multiple accommodation, residential, food and beverage, and entertainment facilities. The casino portion of the resort is planned to occupy a 15,000-square-meter site at one of the towers. The actual gaming floor will spread across 8,000 square meters while the remaining 7,000 square meters will feature non-gaming facilities that will aim to cater to the casino’s patrons.

According to preliminary forecasts, the casino is expected to generate gross gaming revenue of more than €700 million in the long term. However, the planned opening of Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Mediterranean in Cyprus in 2021 could deter the Hellinikon casino from meeting original expectations. The two properties will be located not far apart in a region that is yet to establish itself as a major casino gambling hub.

Local news outlets have previously reported that Las Vegas casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. has informed Hellinikon developers about its interest to potentially join the mega-project. It is believed that more international casino companies would express interest in the ambitious project once the bidding process is launched. However, if Caesars ends up as the preferred bidder this would bring a second casino giant to the Mediterranean region.

At present, the Las Vegas company operates more than 40 casinos across the United States and has said that would be looking to expand across other jurisdictions.

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