Genting Malaysia appears to be still keen on Greece gaming licence

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 18): Genting Malaysia Bhd appears to be still in the running to bring a casino to the former Hellenikon International Airport site near the Greek capital of Athens.

Casino.org reported that Genting Malaysia is believed to be still interested in the 30-year gaming licence, which grants the winning operator a near-monopoly status in the Athens area.

It was reported Genting Malaysia's rivals for the Greece gaming licence are Hard Rock International, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment besides Caesars Entertainment.

"Previously, Caesars Entertainment and Genting Malaysia were among the gaming companies competing with Hard Rock and Mohegan Gaming for the Greek licence. But bureaucratic delays, among other factors, are said to be the culprit behind those companies' lack of interest in the project.

"Caesars dropped out of the running for the Athens casino over a month ago. In recent weeks, Genting was still believed to be interested in the deal, but less so than Hard Rock and Mohegan Gaming," Casino.org reported.

It was reported that a delay has emerged, pushing the Sept 30 tender deadline to Oct 4 this year.

Casino.org reported that the Hellenic Gaming Commission has mandated that the planned integrated resort at the former Hellenikon International Airport site includes convention facilities and at least 500 slot machines besides a minimum of 100 table games.

"The closest casino to Athens is the Regency Casino Mont Parnes in Acharnes. But that venue is 25 miles away from the Greek capital, indicating the winning bidder for the Hellenikon plan will enjoy a significant geographic advantage in the country's most visited city.

"Earlier this year, Genting Malaysia, Hard Rock, and Mohegan Gaming submitted comments on the casino licence and property leasing terms. All three companies are believed to have asked Greek officials for some relaxation on the land lease terms," Casino.org reported

At the time of writing, Genting Malaysia has not issued a statement in response to news reports on its interest in the Greece gaming licence.