US casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) announced it remains fully committed to opening a luxury casino resort within the former Hellinikon International Airport in Athens, as part of an €8 billion redevelopment project, despite the impact of the coronavirus.
In January, MGE won the bidding war against fellow US group Hard Rock International, which has appealed the decision at a Greek court.
The airport was Athens’ main airport for six decades until it closed in 2001 and was replaced by the new Athens International.
The company is ready to start construction work once it wins the tender “despite the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the gaming sector,” CEO of MGE, Mario Kontomerkos stated.
Mohegan’s plan with Greek construction firm GEK TERNA, dubbed Inspire Athens, is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists and generate more than 7,000 jobs.
Inspire Athens is set to feature luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention centre, retail shopping, numerous restaurants, and a casino.
For Mohegan Gaming, the virus has closed all seven of its casinos, including its namesake property Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. MGE also owns and/or operates Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, Ilani in Washington, Paragon Casino Resort in Louisiana, and Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort in Canada.
The tribal entity is bleeding tens of millions of dollars each month. Despite the setback, MGE has no plans to fold on Athens.
"Mohegan Gaming Entertainment is fully committed to turning Greece into a top destination for entertainment and business conferences in Europe,” Kontomerkos added.