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Greece – Tender expected soon for casino forming part of mixed-use attraction on Crete

By - 5 January 2024

Greek company REDS SA, a subsidiary of the Ellaktor Group, is looking to launch a tender for a casino licence to be operated from a property it has purchased on the former US military base in Gournes, Hersonissos on Crete.

A proposal for establishing a casino at the Gournes site is likely to be submitted to the Gaming Supervision and Control Commission (GSC) this month. Upon receipt of the plan, it is believed that the tender process will take six months, with the hope of the Gournes casino opening its doors to local and international visitors by the next tourist season.

The development area has an advantageous extended seashore frontage of 320m towards the Aegean Sea, Including a leisure Marina.

REDS intends to develop a mixed-use attraction, including retail, hotels, a theme park and the casino, that will become a unique hospitality, leisure and retail destination for the wider eastern Mediterranean region.

The contract, which also sets out the terms of management, was finalised last year in the presence of Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis, HRADF CEO Dimitris Politis, REDS SA CEO George Konstantinidis and REDS SA President and Ellaktor CEO Thimios Bouloutas.

The company paid a total of €42.2m for the property. It currently hosts the Hellenic Center for Marine Research, the CretAquarium Thalassokosmos, and the International Exhibition Center of Crete.

The land in Gournes covers 345,567m2 in total and is located on a stretch of beach, 13km from the Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, 16km from Heraklion and 20km from Crete’s new airport currently under construction at Kastelli.

Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said: “This project reflects the confidence of large business groups in the potential and prospects of the Greek economy and confirms the effectiveness of government plans for the optimal utilization of the country’s real estate.”

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