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Greece to launch Hellinikon Casino Concession tender this week

The bidding process for a concession for a casino at the site of the former Athens airport is to start this week, Greek media report on Monday. The call for tender for a casino concession at the site of former Ellinikon International Airport in Athens is ready to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union after multiple delays.

According to media reports, the invitation for bids will be published by the end of the week after the Hellenic Gaming Commission ironed out details surrounding the bidding process this past Friday and finalized the text of the actual call.

Once published, a period of 60 days will be given to interested parties to submit their bidding offers.

Bidders will enter the race for the development and operation of a casino that will be part of a larger integrated resort in South Athens.

The text for the tender’s publication was finalized on Friday, during a meeting by members of the Hellenic Gaming Commission, the quasi-independent gaming and lottery regulatory authority and watchdog in the country, naftemporiki notes.

The tender will reportedly include a minimum concession bid and terms for payments.

According to previous announcements about the massive project, the casino alone will cost €1 billion. Aside from a gaming facility, the concession that will be awarded by the Hellenic Gaming Commission will also include authorization for the development of a hotel, a conference center, an event venue, and a number of other facilities. The concession will cover 20 hectares of the 620 hectare plot designated for the whole mega-resort scheme. The total cost of just the gaming concession could exceed 500 million euros.

Last summer, the Hellenic Gaming Commission opened last summer a consultation period, inviting interested operators to provide comments and suggestions about the bidding process and about their vision of the future casino. According to reports, the likes of Caesars Entertainment Corp., Hard Rock International, and Mohegan Sun, among other major gaming companies, participated in the consultation process.

Awarding an Integrated Resort Casino (IRC) concession is considered as imperative for the entire property development – one of the biggest if not the biggest in Europe at the moment in terms of value – to proceed.

Greek company Lamda Development was previously selected as the preferred developer of a massive €8 billion integrated resort at the site of the former airport. The project is part of Greece’s privatization program intended to raise funds to help the country scale down a crippling debt.

The Hellinikon project will see the development of a massive complex that aside from a casino resort, will include residential communities, hotels, shopping centers, entertainment venues, museums, health and wellness centers, a business park, and a number of other facilities.

The mega-resort is expected to create 75,000 jobs once fully operational and to draw 1 million international visitors per year. The project is spearheaded by a consortium of Chinese, UAE, and Greek investors.

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