Greece is definitely one of the most beautiful places on planet Earth, especially during the summertime. Even the country’s financial turmoil did not stop the influx of tourists this summer.
However, they would attract even more tourists with a great casino resort, but it seems that they are way overdue with one such project.
Casino operators are losing their patience as the Greek government keeps delaying the deadline for submitting applications for a license. One operator will be awarded a long-term license and they will have an opportunity to lead the Hellinikon project and run it afterward.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, a newly elected PM of Greece, met with a billionaire called Spiros Latsis, who is also the head of Lamda Development consortium, a company which started the €8 billion project.
The Hellinikon is going to be built on the site of a former international airport in Athens, and Lamda Development has huge plans for it.
What to Expect from the Government?
While Lamda has been pushing the whole thing and trying to speed it up in order to complete the project as soon as possible, the government of Greece keeps delaying it.
Some of the things that have been bothering the government include the environmental impact of this project, the metropolitan park which is supposed to be a part of it, and the casino that is going to be a part of the resort.
The government needed to issue decisions and take a step forward towards issuing the license and starting the building process, but so far, it has failed to deliver adequate results.
“Everything Ready to Go”: Lamda
Lamda publicly announced that they had filled all the necessary paperwork and that they were only waiting for the government to respond, but the things remained pretty much the same. The paperwork was filled and handed back in February and the government kept delaying the process a couple of times.
During that time, Greece had parliamentary elections and a big shift happened in the government, as Tsipras was no longer the head of the state. This also resulted in further delay of the projects. According to the new government, the land-use decisions should be issued by August 10.
Not Enough Bids Submitted
However, this also resulted that the Hellenic Gaming Commission postpone the application submission deadline to September 30th. The operator that gets chosen to run the Hellinikon project will get a 30-year monopoly casino tender, meaning they will not have to re-apply for the license for a very long time.
On the other hand, there are not too many interested operators at the moment, as only one bid has been submitted so far, by two companies which joined forces for this case — GEK Terna and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. Other operators who are rumored to have been interested in the projects are Genting and Hard Rock International.
The new government looks promising when it comes to their willingness to complete the projects started by their predecessors, including the Hellinikon project.