BUSINESS

Five big groups vie for casino license at Elliniko

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Business

Five major companies are among those expressing an interest in acquiring the coveted casino license in Elliniko – Attica’s biggest development project – as part of pre-tender consultations with possible investors.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), the body responsible for granting new casino operating licenses, has invited interested parties to participate in the consultation by submitting their feedback and comments on the initial teaser by September 10.

A series of meetings are planned with representatives of US companies Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, Hard Rock Entertainment and China’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd.

These five groups are considered the likeliest contenders for the license.

The meetings are held to brief potential investors on the terms and demands of the tender and for investors to inform the Commission on their requests.

The companies in question are requesting full clarity and guaranteed stability of the wider framework governing the casino, sources told Kathimerini. For its part, the HGC will not proceed with the tender before it secures the maximum competition, credibility and price for the investment.

The tender involves the creation of a so-called Integrated Resort Casino (IRC), built over more than 600,000 square meters and including a mix of hotels, convention and exhibition facilities, themed attractions, entertainment, a 15,000 sq.m. casino, shops, restaurants and other attractions.

The investment is expected to exceed one billion euros, including the infrastructure and the license. Only two such mega-casinos are being developed in Europe – in Spain by Hard Rock Entertainment and in Cyprus by Melco.

This may mean that these two groups may eventually bow out of the consultations, considering the size of the funding required for two such projects, leaving the remaining American groups to battle it out.

Representatives of MGE – which operates and develops five casino groups in the US and South Korea – met with Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas yesterday and are expected to meet with HGC head Vangelis Karagrigoriou today.

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