Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has been working to obtain a Greek casino license for months. The company is competing with Hard Rock International to receive one of these new gaming licenses. Today, Mohegan Gaming’s Greek casino plans were unveiled to the public.
Officials at Mohegan Gaming are pushing hard for their chance to open this casino. Today, we’re going to look at the US casino operator’s plans. We’ll also talk a little about the Greek gambling industry. Let’s get into it!
Greece’s Gambling Laws In a Nutshell
Gambling has taken place in Greece for thousands of years. Some even argue that modern gambling originated in Ancient Greece. Here, most forms of traditional gambling are perfectly legal. Interestingly, one company has a monopoly over the country’s gambling industry.
This company, called OPAP, controls all of the country’s land-based gambling options. In recent years, this company has generated massive revenue earnings. In 2018, this company brought in €8 billion. Much of this money came from the company’s new video lotto terminals (VLT’s).
For many years, OPAP also held a monopoly over the country’s online gambling market. Eventually, EU officials forced Greece’s government to change its set of laws. In 2011, the country developed a new licensing procedure that allowed foreign gambling companies to enter the Greek market.
In late 2018, the government announced another change to its online gambling regulations. Lawmakers revealed that internet gambling companies would need to pay a €4 million fee in order to offer sports betting services in the country. Another €1 million licensing fee needs to be spent to offer other forms of gambling including online casino games.
Greece is looking for any way to generate revenue. This country is notorious for its high unemployment rates and suffering economy. Today, a major US casino operator revealed its plans to start operating here.
Mohegan Gaming’s Greek Casino Plans
Officials in Greece are taking bids for companies interested in opening a casino-resort on the Athens Riviera. The project has been discussed for years and is finally moving forward. Only Mohegan Gaming and Hard Rock International are still in the running for a license to open this new casino.
Mohegan Gaming’s Greek casino plans have now been revealed to the public. The company has partnered with Greek contractor GEK Terna and plans to build an €8 billion resort known as Hellenikon, where the former Athens international airport was located.
Mohegan wants to construct two skyscrapers which are inspired by Caryatids, female sculptures that used to support a temple on the Acropolis Hill. The casino will be more than 1.2 hectares and will feature at least 120 table games and 1,200 slot machines. A luxury hotel, an entertainment venue, and a sports venue will also be constructed here.
The Hellenikon casino-resort has been delayed for years. Critics believe that the gambling venue will damage the environment and the country’s culture. Fortunately, it appears that this casino will soon be constructed.
Mohegan claims that if granted a license, they can build this casino-resort within 24 to 36 months. Mario Kontomakeros, CEO of Mohegan Gaming, commented on this project to the media today.
“We are ready to begin as soon as we receive all the necessary approvals,” he said. “We want to start as fast as possible.”
Greece Begins to Recover From Economic Crisis
For many years, Greece was in a major financial crisis. It started in 2009 and ended up becoming the longest recession of any advanced capitalist country to date. Fortunately, things have been improving here.
The International Monetary Fund shows that the Greek economy is getting better. The IMF’s executive board member commented on this economic growth to the media earlier this year.
“The economic recovery in Greece is accelerating and broadening,” he said. “A gradual recovery in private deposits has facilitated further relaxation of capital flow management measures, though bank lending remains negative.”
Greece is now investing more in its tourism and gambling industry. Hope is that the new casino-resort in Hellenikon helps to bring the country major revenue earnings in the future.
Mohegan Gaming’s Greek casino plans have been revealed. We’ll soon know whether or not this casino company is granted the license to operate the new gambling establishment.
Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!