For months, several companies have been pushing for the right to run a brand new casino on the Athens seafront. Unfortunately, multiple delays have kept any company from obtaining a license to take control of this new gambling venue. This week, however, Mohegan Gaming was officially given permission to operate the new Athens casino.
It’s fantastic news for this casino company, which has worked hard to expand overseas over the past few years. Today, we’re going to talk about the process to obtain the Greek gaming license. We’ll also look at some of Mohegan’s other big plans for 2020.
Let’s get into it!
The Long Road to Open Hellenikon Casino
Right now, officials in Greece are preparing to build the largest urban development project in Europe. This massive project, called Hellinikon, will replace the old Hellinikon airport that’s been out of use for nearly 20 years. The ultimate goal is to create a massive metropolitan area on the Athens waterfront.
It’s one of the most ambitious projects in Greece’s recent history. Unfortunately, it’s been a difficult process finding the right companies to help in the development of this new area. One major step was choosing a reliable casino operator to run the new gambling venue that will open within the metropolitan area.
For months, both Mohegan Gaming and Hard Rock International have pushed hard to run this new venue. These companies each own numerous properties throughout the United States. It was initially unclear which one would win the contract in Athens.
In October of 2019, Mohegan Gaming officially revealed its plans for this gambling venue. Company officials pledged to invest $8 billion into a massive casino-resort in Hellinikon. It will include a state-of-the-art casino, a luxury hotel, and a sports venue.
This week, Mohegan Gaming was finally given permission to operate the new Athens casino. It’s fantastic news for the company.
When Will the New Athens Casino Open to the Public?
Unfortunately, there’s still no clear answer on this. Mohegan Gaming’s approval for this project is just one of many steps that were needed in order to move things forward. Based on new reports, however, construction is likely to begin on the new Athens casino sometime early this year.
Adonis Georgiadis, Development Minister of the Hellinikon project, claims “The goal remains to have bulldozers at Hellinikon in early 2020.” That means real progress could be made on this casino before the end of the year. Exactly how long it will take to open is still unknown.
The project is expected to create more than 10,000 construction jobs and an additional 75,000 jobs after it’s opened. According to the project managers, Hellinikon will increase tourism to Athens by an astounding 10%.
That doesn’t mean issues can’t still arise, though. Hard Rock International may still appeal the Greek gambling regulator’s decision. If that happens, the project will once again be delayed.
For now, things are looking good. Construction is likely to begin soon and so far, Hard Rock has not announced they plan to fight the decision. We’ll need to wait and see how things move over the next few weeks.
Mohegan Gaming Continues to Push for Overseas Expansion
Today, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is one of the most successful casino operators in the United States. As we’ve already mentioned, the company is now focused heavily on expansion overseas. Japan, in particular, is a country that Mohegan Gaming officials want to break into.
Japan legalized casino gambling in 2018, yet lawmakers here have yet to license any companies to begin offering casino games here. Reports indicate that it will become the third-largest casino market in the world. Obviously, nearly every major US casino operator is now interested in breaking into this country.
Mohegan Gaming is focused on opening a massive casino-resort in either Osaka or Hokkaido. As of now, it’s still unclear which companies will be approved to operate in Japan.
For now, Mohegan Gaming will be focused on the new Athens casino. It’s one of the company’s largest projects to date and will likely be one of its most profitable.
Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!