Three bidders left for Hellenikon Casino investment in the Athens suburb

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Three bidders left for Hellenikon Casino investment in the Athens suburbMohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Hard Rock Cafe and Genting are still in the running

ATHENS – Missing his promise to immediately start development of the long-delayed 8-billion euro ($8.88 billion) abandoned Hellenikon International Airport site on the capital’s coast, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government said the crucial link – who gets a casino license – will be decided by the end of September.

The New Democracy government said there would be deadline extension although the process has taken so long – the developers blamed the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of blocking the project for 4 ½ years – that only three casino bidders are left.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Hard Rock Cafe and Genting are still in the running with the Connecticut-based Mohegan showing the most interest so far, said Kathimerini, after it’s CEO, Mario Kontomerkos has visited Greece several times and sources not name told the paper the bid is ready.

That came after the Las Vegas-based Caesar’s and Malaysia-based Genting were said to be giving up, said the business newspaper Naftemporiki, leading the Development and Investment Ministry to meet with Mohegan and Hard Rock International.

Mitsotakis said he would do whatever it takes to get the project going but didn’t say why he doesn’t step in to overrule what’s blocking it although he met with Spiros Latsis, the billionaire head of the consortium that’s been eager to get started.

Latsis is head of Lambda Development, the lead partner in a team with China’s Fosun and Abu Dhabi’s Eagle Hills.

The head of the ministry, Adonis Georgiadis said that “Without the tender, for the casino, the investment at Helleniko cannot proceed,” a prospect that would doom the project otherwise and end a long-running melodramatic saga.

Earlier, Georgiadis said his ministry would accelerate the licensing process so that Lamda can lease the property from the state and start construction. A series of approvals from several ministries and a tender for the construction of a casino are pending but it wasn’t said why neither he nor Mitsotakis didn’t mandate immediate licensing be done.

The consortium plans are to turn the airport into a complex of luxury residences, hotels, a yachting marina and casino after the original plans to create the largest urban park in Europe were set aside during an economic crisis, the government preferring cash.


RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

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