The Connecticut-based casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has joined forces with the Greek contractor Gek Terna and announced they would submit a bid to develop the new multi-billion casino resort that is to be built in Athens.
Many eyes are set on Athens as the deadline for bidding is drawing closer
The plans to turn Athens former airport site into a multi-purpose complex, first scheduled to begin in 2008 but then indefinitely postponed, finally started moving ahead at the beginning of this year and since then a number of casino and entertainment companies have expressed their interest, among them Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, Genting Singapore, or Groupe Barriere. It was Mohegan Gaming, however, together with Gek Terna, who announced the first partnership to bid for a portion of the property.
The bidding goes on until 31st July, a date the Hellenic Gaming Commission chose after pushing it back twice, and the minimum requirement is €30 million to operate the casino for 30 years. Any company wanting to bid must have annual revenue of at least €400 million over the last three years and a minimum equity capital of €200 million for the same time frame. The investment needed for the construction is expected to be around €8 million.
The Hellinikon Project is to be the first integrated resort in Europe
The giant complex that is to be built along Athens coastline will not be limited to a casino. The plans show that a whole Municipal Park should be erected in the area, covering 2,000,569 m2. The casino resort part of the project should take up approximately 15,000 m2 of the whole complex and besides the casino itself, it should contain gaming-integrated hotels, conference and convention facilities, entertainment shows, theme parks, luxury retail and fine dining, museums, marina and educational and research facilities.
A resort this big will benefit not only its immediate surroundings, but the whole Greek economy as it is certain to create thousands of workplaces. It is also expected to be linked to the neighbouring regions through new elaborate system of infrastructure, not to mention that it will no doubt put Athens on the map and draw large amounts of tourism.
Both companies are eager to take part in the project
Gek Terna Group sees its participation in the construction both as a great opportunity to develop and move forward as a company, while creating a landmark for the Greek nation.
The group’s Chairman and CEO, George Peristeris, declared: “Our strategic partnership with the Mohegan Gaming Entertainment Group constitutes an important development for our group, as it gives us the opportunity to cooperate with the leading international firm in the entertainment and gaming industry in order to materialize the emblematic, for the people of Greece, Hellinikon project. This partnership is fully incorporated into Gek Terna’s planning for further development in the field of concessions, in which we systematically invest.”
On the other side, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has no doubts that the combination of its own extensive and international expertise with Gek Terna’s understanding of the Greek culture is the key to success.
CEO of the company, Mario Kontomerkos commented:
“We are very happy to announce our partnership with Gek Terna Group on the Hellinikon Project. We strongly believe that Gek Terna’s reliability, effectiveness and deep knowledge of the Greek market will help us fulfil our vision for the Hellinikon area, for Athens and Greece as a whole.”
“Our objective is to implement at Hellinikon a sizeable investment, through our vast experience in the global developments, that will be a game changer for the local and national tourism industry,” he added. “The project will create thousands of workplaces while it will offer multiple benefits to the Greek economy.”