Hard Rock International has shed further light on its Greek intentions, after declaring the firm’s whole investment will significantly exceed €1bn should it be successful in securing the only casino licence up for grabs.
Publicly declaring its interest last week, it follows the lead of Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment who has partnered with local contractor GEK Terna, ahead of a deadline for bids on September 30.
The casino property is to form one part of Lamda Development‘s wider €8bn Hellinikon Project, being developed on the site of the old Ellinikon International Airport which has sat empty for 18 years after being replaced by the new Athens entity.
Speaking to the Kathimerini newspaper, Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International, explained: “At Elliniko, we want to develop an integrated tourism and entertainment complex that is much more than just a box with slot machines and gaming tables. Entertainment is at the heart of our philosophy, and entertainment means hospitality and music and events and unique experiences and much, much more.
“Last year, we held over 35,000 events throughout the world, and we will create events like these, with world-class, high-recognition artists – and much more – here as well. So it’s a good thing there is provision for the construction of spaces for events like these.
“That’s the difference between us and other candidates and groups abroad, our focus is more on entertainment than gaming. We are active in 74 countries, with 12 casinos and 27 hotels.”
The casino, being lauded as Europe’s first integrated casino resort and the first Hellinikon investment, will include gaming-integrated hotels, convention facilities, entertainment shows, theme parks, luxury retail and fine dining, and is set to occupy approximately 15,000 square metres of the 6,200,000 square metre Hellinikon Project.
The wider multi-faceted construction is also slated to incorporate a metropolitan park, shops, offices, sports and conference facilities, luxury hotels, museums, malls, cultural venues, health centres, educational and research facilities and a marina.