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New players, big investments in Greece's casinos

A "game changer" for the industry will undoubtedly be the creation of the new casino at Hellenikon, which is intended to bring wealthy players from all over the world to Greece.

 

There is growing activity in the casino business in Greece with a change of ownership taking place in Loutraki, the relocation of the Parnitha casino to Marousi and the tender moving ahead for the casino at Hellinikon.

A "game changer" for the industry will undoubtedly be the creation of the new casino at Hellenikon, which is intended to bring wealthy players from all over the world to Greece. The final stage of the tender going to Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) is expected within 2020, a development that will mark the start of construction project in 2021.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission has given the green light to the technical offer of the MGE joint venture with GEK TERNA. Once the decision is finalised, a new objection may follow from Hard Rock International, regardless of the expected decision of the Council of State. In any case, the most likely scenario is that the MGE choice will be finalized before the end of the year.

The consortium has presented since October 2019 its vision for the integrated tourist complex with a casino (Intergrated Resort Casino) that it will build and operate in Hellinikon, with the total amount of the investment estimated to exceed 1 billion euros.

At the same time, the procedures for the relocation of the Parnitha casino to Marousi, in an area of 13.5 acres in the Dilaveri estate near the Olympic Stadium in Athens, are progressing. It is noted that Hellenic Casino Parnitha is controlled 51 percent by Athens Resort Casino (Regency, Kokkali) and 49 percent by the Greek real estate company (ETAD).

The total investment will amount to 200 million euros. According to the plans of Hellenic Casino Parnithas SA, the move will be completed by the end of 2021. The new complex, in addition to the casino, will include a luxury hotel, catering services, conference room and area for cultural music events employing about 2,100 employees.

In addition, the hotel-casino complex in Loutraki is entering a new era, following the change of ownership from Israeli businessmen Moshe Bublil and Yigal Zilkha to Irish brothers Luke and Brian Comer. At the end of June, the unit was transferred, after 25 years, to the Comer Group, after its debt amounting to 57 million euros had been acquired by Piraeus Bank. The new owners are betting more on the investment as a tourist product and then as a casino.

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