Greece Gets Two Bids for Tourist Resort Casino
Athens (Reuters) – Greece has received two bids for a license to build and operate a casino resort in a long-delayed tourist development in Athens, the country’s gaming commission said on Friday.
The commission said that Hard Rock International and US casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment jointly with Greek contractor GEK Terna have submitted bids for this plan.
The bid deadline for the construction and 30-year operation of the casino retreat expired at 0800 GMT on Friday.
The winner of the tender will be named expectedly by the end of November, which will build a casino which is at least 1.2 hectares with at least 120 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines running in them. They will also include a luxury hotel, a conference centre and also a sports centre.
The casino will be part of a planned 8 billion-euro ($9billion) resort known as Hellenikon, which will be built by developer Lamda on the site of a disused Athens airport.
Hellenikon is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of tourists every year through this new casino which is a huge boost to the country’s current economy which has been recovering due to the last famous multi-year debt crisis that they have been going through.
However, this project which is a part of a post-bailout agreement and plan between the Greece government and its lenders, has met with numerous bureaucratic challenges and delays and also amid a long-running row with critics and scholars who fear that this plan could and will potentially damage the environment and the country’s cultural heritage through these new sight and plans.
The new and conservative government of Greece has pledged to speed up necessary licensing for Hellenikon and also to wrap up the casino tender, key conditions before Lamda takes over the project and by the end of the year and pays 300 million euros ($329) in a first trance for the project.
Hard Rock International has said it plans to spend more than 1 billion euros on the project. This can greatly lift the country’s economic situation, putting more people under employment and opening up more online gambling platforms where the people can blow off some steam at sites such as Mega888 or 918Kiss.
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