Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment aims to bid on a casino license on the site of the abandoned Hellinikon Airport near Athens, Greece. MG&E is joining rival casino giant Hard Rock International in the bidding process to open a casino resort as part of a major urban renewal scheme called the Hellinikon Project.
With the abandoned Hellinikon Airport near Athens, Greece looks like a concrete colosseum slowly moldering away in the Mediterranean sun. If stones could speak, they would tell terrible tales of the airport’s takeover by the Nazis in 1941 and use as a Luftwaffe base. After chasing out the Nazis in 1945, the U.S. Air Force used the airport as a strategic hub for flights between the Middle East.
The airport was abandoned in 2001, and plans to renew the area never came to fruition. Until now. Mohegan and Hard Rock’s casino bids in Greece will inject billions into a larger urban renewal project called the Hellinikon Project. The 6,200,000-square-meter, 8-billion-euro project will combine parks and recreation zones, convention centers, housing, health centers, educational research facilities, and an IR casino.
Mohegan CEO Mario Kontomerkos told the local Athens press that his company is set to tender their bid for the casino project on October 4. The bidding process has been a long one, as a change in government caused delays and bureaucratic setbacks for the project. These delays have scared away other bidders, leaving only Hard Rock and Mohegan as the last 2 giants standing.
Interestingly enough, those 2 giants are both tribally-owned. Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and Mohegan Entertainment is the flagship of the Mohegan Tribe of Southeastern Connecticut. As tribal gaming slowly spreads across the globe, we will have to wait and see which of these 2 tribes will find their place in the Mediterranean sun.
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