Time ticking on regulator to tender out Greece casino project
The Hellenic Gaming Commission has until the end of next month to launch a casino tender to pave the way for the overly-delayed €8 billion ($9.33 billion) Hellinikon project in Greece.
According to reports by the GTP news outlet, the regulator has come under intense pressure since the project has a connection with the privatization of Athens former Hellinikon airport.
The privatization of the airport would be without hindrance if a licence is issued to a casino operator.
An anonymous privatisation source disclosed that “If there is interest in the casino license, the privatisation process will move ahead swiftly.”
Steadily coming out of a financial crisis, Greece wants to use the integrated resort casino business as proof to international lenders of having enough revenue sources to pay its debt.
The Hellenic Republic since the 2010 Eurozone financial crisis not recovered from its financial distress.
Since 2014, the Greek government has approved a 99-year lease for 620 hectares of land at the Hellinikon airport for an international consortium comprising of local developer Lamda, Abu Dhabi-based developer Eagle Hills Properties and China’s Fosun Group, which operates the well-known Club Med.
The land to be used for the construction of an integrated resort comprises of a marina for rich punters to park their yachts, a casino, luxury residences and high-rise hotels. Nonetheless, due to some bureaucracy, the project was delayed.
Early this year, the Greece Council of State approved the development plan for an integrated resort project. With this, investors were expecting the tendering for casino licences to begin late May or late June but that did not happen.