The first integrated resort and casino to be constructed in Greece at the former Athens airport along the coast is set to take approximately three years to complete, said Mario Kontomerkos, president and CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), the preferred bidder for the development and management of the project.
“Mohegan is ready to move as soon as possible. The exact start date of the project depends to a large extent on the permits that will have to be given, however, once we receive the approvals we will complete the work within 36 months,” Kontomerkos said during the 21st Prodexpo virtual conference this week.
The group’s INSPIRE Athens project is aimed at creating 7,000 jobs, contributing to the upgrade of the Athens Riviera, boosting tourism in Attica by 10 percent, and attracting investments, he said.
MGE together with its Greek partner GEK Terna offered to pay 150 million euros for the 30-year right to operate the casino. The sum is five times the minimum of 30 million euros set by the EEEP.
Kontomerkos said the bid reflects the company’s “vote of confidence in Greece”.
Referring to the INSPIRE Athens master plan, Kontomerkos said emphasis will be given to incorporating Greek architectural elements as well as environmentally-friendly infrastructure.
The agreement will be finalized after MGE submits supporting documents. Greek authorities will then draw up a contract, have it signed and submit it for further approval by the State Audit Council. From there it will go through Greek parliament for ratification. The procedure is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.
According to sources close to the project, permit and contract procedures will likely not be finalized before 2021, pushing back construction to 2022.