The Greek Parliament recently approved a new law which will allow the transfer of the historic Parnitha casino to Maroussi, a northern suburb of Athens.
The moving of the Parnitha casino to the northern suburbs of the Greek capital constitutes an investment by Regency Casinos on the order of 200 million euros ($237 million).
The plan was temporarily blocked in January 2021 by a Greek High Court decision as unconstitutional. However, the new change in the law, approved by a huge majority in Parliament, will allow the project to proceed.
According to Regency Casinos, the new premises in Maroussi will create a unique Greek tourism and entertainment attraction, combining high-end aesthetics with state-of-the-art “green” specifications.
In addition to the casino, the complex will include a luxury hotel, restaurants, event venues and underground parking.
Half of the space will be allocated for the creation of public green spaces, while traffic interventions are planned, leading to with beneficial results for the local area.
Glamorous past of the Parnitha Casino
The move to Maroussi signifies the end of an era for the top-of-Parnitha casino and hotel, which is known to Greeks as Mont Parnes.
The opening of the hotel took place on June 17, 1961 with great splendor and luxurious touches. It was the social event of the year and the number of guests exceeded 700, including the Greek PM and many foreign dignitaries.
However, Mont Parnes was not ultimately successful in attracting the rich and powerful of the era. In 1963 the hotel had fewer guests than staff and it was becoming a burden on the Greek economy.
The opening of the casino there, on February 5, 1971, brought a financial lifeline to the resort. On the day of its grand opening, 500 cars drove up to the top of Mt. Parnitha, transporting more than 2,000 Athenians there.
For the gamblers of the Greek capital, the phrase “Let’s go up to the mountain” acquired a new meaning from that time onward.
In 1972 access to the Casino became even easier with the construction and operation of a cable car, while in 1974 Mont Parnes ceased to provide hotel services and focused only on the operation of the casino.
Since the mid-90s, gamblers moved from the mountain to the beach, with the establishment of a casino in Loutraki, west of Athens. Mont Parnes then lost its glamor.
Since 2003, the Parnitha Casino has been part of the American Hyatt Regency hotel chain.