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The Greek government has stipulated that the bidding process to obtain a license to start a casino at Elliniko, a multi-billion-euro project for an integrated resort at the site of the former Hellinikon airport near Athens, should be launched by the end of August. Elliniko is a multi-billion-euro project for an integrated resort at the site of the former Hellinikon airport near Athens.
Local news outlet Ekathimerini reported earlier today, citing government papers, that the tender should be announced by August 31 so that the preferred bidder could become known by the end of the year when the privatisation of the former airport is supposed to be concluded.
The government’s list of pending privatisation actions contained 35 such actions, the local media outlet further pointed out, most of which related to the privatisation of the old airport, which served the Greek capital for six decades up until March 2001.
It was confirmed last summer that the Greek government has approved a project pitched by a group of investors from Abu Dhabi and China together with local partner Lamda Development for the development of an €8-billion integrated resort at the site of the old international airport.
Apart from selecting a winning bidder for the casino license at the massive complex, another important action included in the government’s list involved the relocation of facilities currently operating in the Hellinikon area.
Most of the entities are expected to depart the area by November. However, there are several of them that will have to be relocated by the end of September, with the Civil Aviation Authority being one of these.
The integrated resort is planned to occupy a 2-million-square-meter site where the former airport had previously operated. Construction stage is expected to create 10,000 jobs, while the complex, once complete, will employ more than 75,000 people.
Lamda Development has previously said that it would look to reduce seasonality and attract visitors all year round. As many as 1 million international tourists would be welcomed annually at the resort, according to initial estimates.
The property will feature a gaming floor with both offerings for mass-market patrons and VIP players. The initial stage of the bidding process for the casino license began earlier this year, when the Greek Gaming Commission (Επιτροπή Εποπτείας και Ελέγχου Παιγνίων) announced that it had hired consultants to draft the tender process. It is yet to be announced when exactly the actual process will kick off.
The massive development scheme is expected to draw interest from some of the major players on the global land-based casino scene. Reportedly, Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. has already expressed interest in the project as part of its expansion strategy.
Source: European Gaming Industry News