In Greece and a consortium being led by Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has reportedly cleared the last major hurdle in its plan to bring a large integrated casino resort to a 1,532-acre parcel of seaside land on the southern outskirts of Athens.
According to a Tuesday report from G3Newswire, the Connecticut-based entity is the casino-operating arm of the United States’ federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe and has had the 30-year license for its proposed Inspire Athens development approved by the nine-member Hellenic Gaming Commission. The source detailed that the American operator is now set to partner with local construction conglomerate GEK Terna so as to begin work on the project, which is to eventually encompass a luxury hotel as well as entertainment venues, a convention center, retail outlets and a large casino.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment overcame a major obstacle to its Athens casino plan in January when the Greek regulator unanimously rebuffed a plan for the site of the nation’s former Ellinikon International Airport from rival Hard Rock International. The aboriginal entity subsequently went on to pay some €150 million ($177 million) for the license to build and operate its coming Inspire Athens venue and now expects to begin welcoming the first guests well before the end of the decade.
Ellinikon International Airport had served as the principal airport for Greece until 2001 when it was replaced by the much larger Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos. The government earlier gave local real estate firm Lamda Development with backing from Abu Dhabi’s Eagle Hills development concern and Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group permission to transform the large area into an €8 billion ($8.9 billion) seaside resort featuring a series of luxury hotels and residences alongside a yachting marina and a casino complex.
Mario Kontomerkos, Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, reportedly declared that his firm’s coming Inspire Athens property is to be designed by renowned casino architect Steelman Partners and will eventually create up to 7,000 direct and indirect jobs to contribute millions of dollars into the local economy.
Reportedly read a statement from Kontomerkos…
“We are honored to have been chosen by the Hellenic Gaming Commission and believe that as the first integrated casino resort experience in Greece, Inspire Athens will further solidify the city of Athens as one of Europe’s most enticing and iconic destinations. We recognize the importance of this transformative effort for Greece and are looking forward to leading the charge for one of the most ambitious development projects ever undertaken in the country.”