Las Vegas Sands Casino Coming To Athens?January 2, 2014 2:16 pm
The planet’s biggest casino operator, Las Vegas Sands, is considering creating a new casino resort in Athens, Greece, after the proposed €30 billion mega-resort that was to be built near Madrid, Spain was cancelled.
Just like Spain, Greece has also been caught in the grip of one of the worst financial crisis in its history, characterized by non-existent growth and high unemployment rates. Whilst in talks with the Spanish government, US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson piqued the country’s interest by promising as many as 250,000 new jobs, as well as 11 million tourists each year spending an extra €15.5 billion over a 15 year period.
Now, Athens stands to reap some of those vast rewards, although Sheldon Adelson said he is also considering creating a new casino resort in a number of other European city’s, including Rome, Milan, Paris, and Barcelona.
Back in 2007, Las Vegas Sands Corporation first broached the subject of operating a casino in Athens after contacting Greece’s finance minister at the time concerning a possible location at the capital city’s former international airport at Elliniko. However, Greece’s economy was in much better shape then, and the deal came to naught, but Greece’s recent economic nightmare may make the Southern European country more receptive to Adelson’s latest proposal.
Nevertheless, several significant barriers stand in the way of a potential deal, not least the OPAP gaming company which is likely to raise a legal issue as it already holds a €565 million license to operate video lotto terminals in the city. Likewise, the Loutraki casino, one of the biggest in the whole of Europe, is sure to object as the Greek government had previously promised the company that no other casino would be allowed to operate in Athens.