US casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment on Tuesday unveiled its plan to build a large casino resort on the Athens Riviera, in a long-delayed tourist development project.
Mohegan, which has partnered with Greek contractor GEK Terna, is competing with Hard Rock International in a tender to build and operate for 30 years a casino within a planned 8-billion-euro tourist resort at Elliniko on the site of Athens’ former international airport.
The winner of the tender will build a casino of at least 1.2 hectares, with at least 120 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines, as well as a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, a conference center and a sports center.
Mohegan Gaming chief executive officer Mario Kontomerkos said the company has been working on the plan for more than two years and that all costing, land planning and architectural work has been completed.
“We are ready to begin as soon as we receive all the necessary approvals,” he said. “We want to start as fast as possible.”
He said that constructions of this type usually take 24 to 36 months and that Mohegan “will certainly comply within that timeline.”
Mohegan’s plan, dubbed Inspire Athens, consists of two skyscrapers which are inspired by the Caryatids, female sculptures used to support a temple on the Acropolis Hill.
The casino resort will bring more tourists to Athens and generate over 7,000 jobs, Kontomerkos said.