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Φώτο: Regency

Govt tables bill allowing casino to move from Parnitha to Marousi

The new amendment comes to replace a previous one that was deemed unconstitutional by the Council of State, because it targeted exclusively the case of the Parnitha casino.

The Greek government submitted to parliament late yesterday an amendment unblocking the moving of the Parnitha casino to Marousi, northern Athens, as part of a bill introducing measures to fight the pandemic.

The new amendment comes to replace a previous one that was deemed unconstitutional by the Council of State, because it targeted exclusively the case of the Parnitha casino.

Problems in the transfer of Parnitha Casino arose in January, when the Council of State annulled law 4499 of 2017 and a relevant ministerial decision, based on which the Laskaridis and Kokkali (Intralot) groups, which control the casino, had planned the investment for its move to Marousi.

The new proposed regulation cancels the general ban on casino transfers that was in force until now and allows, exceptionally and under certain conditions, casinos to be transferred within the same prefecture. At the same time, it has special provisions for the Parnitha casino and its transfer.

In particular, the proposed regulation allows for the transfer of an existing casino business for reasons of public interest, provided that it has been operating for at least ten years and has been licensed under any regime for a specific location or area. In order to allow the transfer, it must be demonstrated that there is an impossibility regarding its smooth and sustainable operation in its current location and that its transfer creates increased and measurable benefits to the state.

The company pays to the state a price which covers the goodwill that the casino will acquire due to its move to the new location. For the transfer, a Presidential Decree will be issued by the relevant ministers, which will be checked by the Council of State.

Among other things, the company will be obliged to create new jobs, but also adopt measures to move the staff to the new position without any harmful change of working conditions, otherwise pay legal compensation.

Especially for the transfer of the existing casino business under the name "Hellenic Casino Parnithas SA" (EKPA SA), from Parnitha to another location within the Attica Region, it is stated that the following applies:

New jobs need to be created in a sustainable way for at least five years from the casino in its new location. The number of job positions cannot be less than three hundred.

A payment will be made to the Greek state in exchange for the move, while it is ensured that in any case the stake held by ETAD SA in the share capital of EKPA SA will not drop below 48.9 percent.

The company will bear the costs for the necessary work and investments for the restoration and upgrade of the landscape and the environment in Parnitha.

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