The Hellinikon project is once again in the spotlight, as there are some additional delays that took place. This time, the government of Greece confirmed that the final date for bidding for the licenses is Oct. 4.
According to them, this date is definitely the final one, and there will be no more delays as they have managed to breach every possible deadline. In other words, the Hellinikon project should be one step forward towards completion in about a month.
But is the Greek government reliable? They promised “final” dates before, and always delayed it for reasons known and unknown.
Adonis Georgiadis, Greek Minister of Development and Investments, stated on Thursday that the tender for a single casino license for the project would come to an end on Oct. 4. The €8b Hellinikon resort project is planned to be developed in a place of a former international airport near Athens called Elliniko.
All casino operators that are interested in running the Hellinikon project will have an opportunity to submit their bids by Oct. 4. The last date which was set before that was Sept. 30, but there were several more delays before that which spanned over almost a year.
The Ministerial Decisions
At the start of last week, the government of Greece finally made a step forward by approving the two ministerial decisions that actually posed the main problem for the projects to move on to the next stage. These decisions were related to the terms that would apply to the tender for building the casino project.
However, there are two more ministerial decisions that need to take place, and they are related to the regulations of zoning and urban planning. Nevertheless, the government is expected to approve these as soon as possible.
At the moment, there are three big casino operators which are interested in this project, and they are Hard Rock International, Genting, and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.
In fact, MGE already managed to sign a joint venture with one of the biggest construction companies in Greece called GEK Terna a couple of months ago. However, nothing is certain at the moment, and none of the three interested operators know which one is the favorite for obtaining a license.
Moreover, Genting expressed that they are interested, but they never made it official. On the other hand, Hard Rock International is pretty interested. In fact, HRI CEO Jim Allen stated that the company was ready to spend more than $1 billion in developing a casino in Athens.
He added that they would require approximately 24-26 months to complete the project. On the other hand, HRI doesn’t have a local JV partner — or at least Jim Allen failed to tell the press more about it.
The entire Hellinikon project drama takes way too long, but one part will hopefully come to an end in just a month. Hopefully, we will know which company was chosen to run the project very soon.
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