The government to take office after the July 7 general election will have to tackle the Elliniko casino permit issue. Just 13 days before the deadline for binding offers, all signs point to a fresh extension until after the polls.
There are two main issues that candidate investors are facing: The first is the joint ministerial decisions that will determine the town planning registration details for the property at the old Athens airport, and the second concerns the leasing terms.
Investors are waiting for three ministerial decisions: The first concerns residential planning, the second is to do with the planning of commercial properties, and the third concerns the planning of the park to be created.
Sources say that out of the three decisions, the only one that could be completed by the June 28 deadline for the casino permit bids is that regarding the town planning for the park; the other two will not be ready. Sources close to the procedure say that regardless of how much pressure the current government is exerting for the project to proceed, the state agencies are dragging their feet, without any results.
Regarding the plot’s leasing contract, the main contractor, Lamda Development, has not yet submitted its final offer. Besides the permit concession terms, the proclamation of the tender for the casino license concession included the main terms for the leasing of the property, regarding which interested parties have submitted their comments and notes. Lamda has collected all the comments but has not yet delivered the final terms for the concession of the plot where the integrated recreation center (IRC) will be constructed.
Many people say Lamda intends to share any significant decisions it makes with the new government; interested investors appear to agree, and have no reason not to wait a few more weeks in order to compete under the blessing of the new administration.
The permit concession tender effectively began last summer. Mohegan Gaming Entertainment (MGE), Hard Rock Cafe and Genting are the three parties that have consistently shown an interest. MGE and Genting are very interested, while Hard Rock Cafe appears to have bounced back recently after a long period of inactivity.