Elliniko casino license is not expected before summer of 2020, Ilias Bellos | Kathimerini

Monday 23rd December 2019

It's already been three months from the day that binding offers by Hard Rock International and the consortium of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and GEK Terna were submitted for the Elliniko casino permit, but there is yet to be a decision on the sufficiency and the legitimacy of the documents submitted.

It is clear that even after this phase is completed it will take several more months for the tender to draw to a close so that a contractor can be selected for a project exceeding 1 billion euros. The issue of the permit is one of the conditions for Lamda Development - which has undertaken the mega-project of Elliniko's development - to pay the first tranche of 300 million euros to the state and start the concession of the old airport plot.

Kathimerini understands that the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) board will convene between January 10 and 17 to shortlist any eligible bidders for the second phase of the tender, which concerns the assessment of the technical and financial offers.

As is widely known in the market, the bid by Hard Rock International has a number of issues that will most likely exclude it from the tender and is set to respond by legal means, leading to a loss of precious months for the tender's process.

Once the court proceedings announced by Hard Rock are completed, more time will be required for the contract with the winning bidder to be ratified and approved by the State Audit Council and then by Parliament. The market, therefore, estimates that even if everything goes ahead without any further problems, the Elliniko casino permit issue will not be finished before the summer of 2020. This is why, Kathimerini understands, the government will be negotiating with Lamda an early start to the work at Elliniko, even before the transaction is completed.

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