BUSINESS

Elliniko casino permit attracts US interest only

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations, Business

Interest in the permit for a casino in Elliniko, southern Athens, is coming exclusively from the United States, as only three of the six-plus original suitors, which included players from Europe, are still seen in the running.

These are US companies Caesars, Hard Rock Cafe and Mohegun, who are among the world biggest developers of casinos and leisure facilities. Previously there had also been some interest from France’s Group Barriere, from Las Vegas Sands of the US and from other, smaller investment and construction enterprises.

The next few days should also see resolution of the issue concerning the terms of the concession by the contractor who will develop the property of the old Athens airport at Elliniko to the company that will eventually secure the casino permit. Negotiations have lasted longer than expected, and it is now certain there will be no confirmation of the preferred bidder for the license before the end of the year.

It appears that the selection of the winning bid will take place in the first couple of months of 2019, so that by end-March or Easter 2019 at the latest, the transaction for the privatization of the entire Elliniko plot can be completed, according to developer Lamda Development’s chief executive, Odysseas Athanasiou.

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