Las Vegas Sands eyes Potential Athens Casino
Shortly after seeing their Eurovegas venture crumble, Las Vegas Sands isn’t wasting any time scouting out a new European location. The world’s biggest casino operator now has their heart set on a casino in Athens, Greece.
Known for the Acropolis and Parthenon, Athens isn’t exactly a gaming juggernaut. But with Greece struggling amid high unemployment rates and a sluggish economy, the country’s capital city may be more willing to listen to the Sands Corporation than ever before.
This is exactly the reason why Sands is targeting Athens. They were doing the same thing with Spain, which is also mired in an economic crisis. Everything was going good until Spanish government officials demanded high taxes and refused to make smoking concessions for Eurovegas visitors. After this fallout, it seems that Sands has taken its act to another financially desperate country.
The rewards of a potential Athens casino resort would be great. Las Vegas Sands had promised Spain that a new casino resort would generate 250,000 new jobs, €15.5 billion in tax money, and 11 million visitors over a 15-year span. It’s unclear if the same boasts are on the table for Athens, but even two-thirds or half of these numbers would be a major boost for Greece’s economy.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that the Sands Corporation and Greece have discussed a potential casino. Back in 2007, the Greek financial minister and Sands talked about building a gaming establishment near the airport in Elliniko. This was a much more prosperous time for the country, so they respectfully declined the offer. But now, such a deal seems very beneficial for Greece.
However, a mere need for money and jobs isn’t a guarantee that a new Athens casino will happen. The OPAP gaming company operates video lottery terminals in the city and they’re very likely to complain about the competition. Likewise, Loutraki Casino could raise some legal issues because the Greek government promised them that they’d have a monopoly over the Athens casino market.