.S. casino group Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment expects that a luxury casino resort on the site of the former Athens airport will be ready by 2026, a top company executive said last Friday, giving a timeframe for the first time on development plans, reports Reuters.
The consortium of Mohegan and Greek construction group GEK Terna last year won a Greek tender for the construction and 30-year operation of the casino resort on the site of the former Hellenikon airport located on the Athens seafront.
The next steps in the process include signing the contract and clearing it with Greek auditors and parliament.
Ray Pineault, Mohegan’s interim CEO said to the Delphi Economic Forum in Athens: “Right now, we anticipate that upon conclusion of the contractual negotiation process, permitting and design will take approximately 12 to 18 months”.
He also said that the resort was expected to open in 2025 or 2026.
The resort is part of an €8 billion ($9.68 billion) redevelopment plan for the former airport site by Greek developer Lamda that will eventually house shopping malls, hotels, and residences. The casino resort will include a hotel, entertainment venues, convention centers, and shopping and dining amenities.
Lamda won a government tender for the redevelopment of the site in 2014 but after years of delays due to red tape, political resistance, and local opposition, has yet to be handed control.
Greece’s conservative government that took power in 2019 has vowed to speed up the project.
Lamda Development said last week it was hopeful that it can start construction work in Hellenikon, Greece’s biggest urban redevelopment plan, in the autumn if it secures the property from the state next month.
Pineault added: “We anticipate the IRC (resort) will grow international tourism in the Attica region by at least 10%. It will be a facility that’s unforeseen anywhere else in all of Europe.”
The Greek economy relies heavily on tourism, which generates a fifth of the country’s economic output and employs one in five workers.