Greek Development Minister: €8 Billion Hellinikon Casino Set To Operate After 3.5 Years
The mega-project development became a reality after Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) agreed to demolish more than 800 old buildings on site. The integrated resort will stand at an abandoned Ellinikon International Airport near the capital of Greece. The permission to demolish the buildings was approved in May.
The development of the gigantic integrated resort was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment won the bid to develop the integrated resort.
Lambda Development, the country’s leading private property developer, Fosun Group, a Chinese firm, and Eagle Hills Properties, from Abu Dhabi, will handle the overall Hellinikon project.
Construction on the way
The permit to demolish buildings in the area gained approval in May, but the actual demolition will start on October 31. The early stages of the construction will move forward beginning July. The realization of the project faced heavy bureaucracy and legal challenges, causing a delay in the construction.
After winning the snap election against former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, newly voted prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that he wants to see the construction of the gigantic project kick-off by the end of 2019. The start of the development was delayed because of legal challenges brought by other bidders for the construction.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, a US gaming and hospitality operator, won the rights to develop the casino at the Hellinikon project. Hard Rock International bid but later disqualified due to severe irregularities in its application for a license.
Hard rock filed an appeal to the court arguing politics over the selection process and questions the decision that they are unfit for the license to operate the Hellinikon casino.
The appeal was rejected last month by the Greek Council of State, the country’s leading administrative court.
Construction will begin after receiving the green light
The Hellinikon integrated resort is described as “Europe’s biggest urban regeneration project.” The integrated resort will include home spaces, a park, offices, malls, entertainment venues, and a marina. It is described by Mohegan’s CEO, Marios Kontomerkos, as the number one entertainment destination in Southern Europe.
The CEO said they plan to construct the multi-billion project as soon as the signal to build is given. The new project is expected to boost Greece’s gambling tourism and provide billions of additional revenue to the state.
The company assures that they are committed to the development of the resort and casinos as part of the larger Hellinikon initiative. The company ensured that its expansion plan would continue despite the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus.
The company is proposing another €1 billion INSPIRE Athens project that aims to build hotels, entertainment venues, a casino, dine-in restaurants, malls, and other attractions that will provide a fun-filled experience for the guests.
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