The bidding process for the site at the former Athens airport Elliniko is entering a new phase. After months of changes to the bidding process and numerous delays, the playing field now holds only three casino operators. These are the Hard Rock Cafe, Genting, and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. Now, the government is insisting that there will be no additional extensions of the deadline.
Instead, the bidding process will be completed by the end of September. Currently, analysts believe that the Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment operator is showing the most interest in the bid. Its CEO Mario Kontomerkos traveled to Greece on several occasions. Furthermore, it seems that the company created a bid months ago and now are ready for the bidding process to actually commence.
This means that for Mohegan, the moment the bidding process begins, they will have an offer in as soon as possible. However, it is also likely that other two operators have a similar document well in the works or possibly even finished.
Whoever wins the bid will still have a really immense task to deal with. The Elliniko site in theory has many advantages on its side. It is set in the heart of Greece, one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Europe. Additionally, the proximity of Athens also shows that the casino could attract a part of the numerous visitors coming to see the ancient city.
Finally, the facility that should appear there will be far bigger than any local competition. Yet, there are many potential problems related to the same development problem. As the bidding process shows, the government of Greece can only do so much to help the casino operators. When this is combined with an ever-critical state of the Greek economy over the previous decade, the development project like this could hit numerous walls.
Some could slow down the development while others could stop it dead in the water. However, what could be the biggest problem for the same future casino is outside of the country. More precisely, it is a big presence of Melco on Cypress. Here, the casino operator already made huge steps in making an impressive presence.
The basic pitch of an Elliniko casino could end up something very similar to Cyprus Melco, but on a much smaller scale. In that case, any operator would be left with an inferior offer and no real way to scale up. At the same time, the development will still be a very expensive venture.
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