February 23, 2018 / 3:56 PM / 2 years ago

Greece starts casino licensing procedure for major tourism project

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece gave the green light to its gaming committee to launch a tender for a new casino license, removing another obstacle for a major tourism project in Athens, which is a key conditionality of the country’s international bailout.

The decision was published in the Feb. 22 Government Gazette, the same day as Greece’s top administrative court approved the project’s development plan.

A finance ministry official told Reuters that an advisor for the tender would be hired soon.

Property developer Lamda signed a 99-year lease with the state in 2014 to convert 620 hectares of wasteland at the former Hellenikon Athens airport into a complex of luxury residences, hotels, a yachting marina, including a casino.

Progress on the project, which has been beset by delays, is being watched closely by Greece’s creditors as a test of the government’s commitment to privatizations under its multi-billion euro bailout.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, editing by David Evans

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