The Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) has unanimously rejected the bid by Hard Rock International for the Casino at Hellinikon Project in the premises of the old Athens airport in the south coast of the Greek capital.
EEEP still has to decide on the part of the tender committee’s conclusion related to the participation of the other bidder, the joint venture by US Mohegan Gaming Entertainment (MGE) and Greek GEK Terna, media report on Tuesday.
The completion of the EEEP decisions is expected to lead to the notification of the parties concerned, after which the two suitors will have 10 working days to submit any objections regarding the EEEP verdicts to the independent authority competent to rule on them.
According to media, the result of the vote at EEEP as well as the contents of its decision show HRI has very little scope for a successful objection.
Sources told kathimerini that the company’s bid has been rejected for technical reasons and for the substance of its offer. Therefore a reversal would be exceptionally difficult, not only by the committee to examine the objection but also by any other legal entity HRI might take recourse to.
The tender committee reportedly took three months before its reached its conclusions, so as to attain a well-documented decision in legal terms, and that this objective has been achieved.
The EEEP voted at 9-0 in favor of rejecting the HRI bid.
It is recalled that issues with HRI’s bid paperwork first surfaced last November, leading HRI to warn that it would mount a legal challenge if its bid was disqualified on a technicality.
Last month, HRI chairman and CEO Jim Allen had criticized the tender procedure for the Integrated Resort & Casino, an investment that could reach 1 billion euros.
Allen claimed that unnamed legal advisers were attempting to influence members of the relevant tender committee in favor of one of the contenders.
Allen’s very profile charges came after his attendance at the 21st Capital Link conference in Manhattan, and his meetings with Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis.
Allen’s accusations were made to Greek Ant1 TV, with the statement essentially pointing to Hard Rock International as the company facing disqualification.
Allen said his gaming and entertainment multinational has already conveyed to the relevant competition committee, established by the Hellenic Gaming Commission, its concerns regarding the tender procedure.
He specifically alleged that legal advisers are not only providing counsel to HGC, but to the rival bidder as well. Allen said the Greek government has been provided with details of the allegation against a specific law office.
According to calvinayre.com, Lamda Development has been prevented from commencing work on the project until the casino permit has been issued.
PS and we will end up with this monstrous Mohegan casino construction in our once beautiful Athens Riviera skyline.
God. Help. Us.