Hard Rock loses Greek casino appeal

Hard Rock International has lost its appeal against exclusion from bidding for the casino development in the Greek capital.

Greece.- The highest Greek administrative court has rejected Hard Rock International’s appeal against its exclusion from the tender for the Hellinikon casino resort in Athens.

The company had been disqualified from the tender on a technicality in January but filed for an injunction citing procedural irregularities and problems with the rival bid by a consortium formed by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) with Greek partner GEK Terna. 

When presenting its appeal to the court last week, Hard Rock said it was optimistic it would still win the bid for the 30-year contract to build and operate the 1.2-hectare casino resort as part of a €8billion development on the site of the former Hellinikon International Airport.

However, the Council of State, the highest administrative court in Greece, has now rejected the appeal, allowing the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) to proceed with its assessment of the only remaining bid for the delayed casino.

The Mohegan-GEK Terna consortium, named Inspire Athens, remains the sole bidder for the project after Hard Rock was disqualified.

MGE said this week that it remains fully committed to the project despite the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. CEO Mario Kontomerkos said the consortium was ready to start construction work as soon as the tender was awarded.

The project includes plans for a casino with at least 120 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines, together with a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, a conference centre and a sports centre.

Earlier this week, existing Greek casino Club Hotel Casino Loutraki lost its tax battle before the Council of State.

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