Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has tabled an amendment to the terms and conditions to Greek casino licensing opening the way for the international tender for the proposed casino in Hellinikon.
The amendment puts casinos into two categories; simple type and widespread-type licenses. The simple type casino licence will be able to operate alongside four-star hotels, along with retail, restaurants and entertainment, while widespread casinos will operate five-star hotels, a conference center, a golf course, a spa and a marina. The simple-type casino license will run for a 15-year duration while the widespread casinos will have a licence for 30 years.
Minimum capital for a simple type casino license is set at €500,000, increasing to €5m after five years, while for widespread-type licenses the minimum capital is set at €1m rising to €10m after five years. The new legislation would also allow the winning bidder in Hellinikon to enter concession deals with third parties involving non-gambling activities.
Three US casino operators are believed to be in the race for the Hellinikon license; Hard Rock International, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment.
Existing casino operators in Greece will need to re-apply for a license under the new amendment by December 1 2019 with those approved being able to take full advantage of a new reduced tax structure.
An amendment was also put forward for the draft bill overseeing the relocation of the Regency Casino on Parnitha, to the northern suburbs, preventing the casino moving to central Athens and Piraeus, to southern and western Athens, or to Lavreotiki.
Mr. Tsakalotos explained: “As you can understand, we tried to specify the location of the casino to avoid overlapping activities. Essentially, we are moving the casino relatively far from Loutraki and Hellinikon. Excluding other options, we are sending it to the north. By excluding these areas, the casino will not come in the city center and next to residential areas, which are totally excluded. At the same time, the casinos of Helliniko and Loutraki will be are minimally affected, protecting the investments there.”