The bidding process for a concession for a casino at the site of the former Athens airport is to start this week, according to media reports
The call for tender for a casino concession at the site of former Ellinikon International Airport near Athens is ready to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union after multiple delays, the Tornos News reports citing information obtained by Greek newspaper Naftemporiki.
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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.
The publication of said text will open a 60-day bidding window during which interested casino companies will be able to submit their applications for the sole gaming license granted by the Greek gambling regulator. Bidders will enter the race for the development and operation of a casino that will be part of a larger integrated resort at the site of the former international airport near the Greek capital.
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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 local media reports, the likes of Caesars Entertainment Corp., Hard Rock International, and Mohegan Sun, among other major gaming companies, participated in the consultation process.
Minimum Concession Bid and Payment Terms
The tender will reportedly include the minimum concession bid interested operators will have to place as well as terms for the payments to be made. The casino is considered instrumental for the whole integrated resort at the site of the former airport.
According to previous announcements made in relation to the massive project, the casino alone will cost €1 billion. Here it is important to note that 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 megaresort scheme.
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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 (as referred to by developers) 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 megaresort 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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