First decision over casino concession at Helleniko site expected this week

Sunday 12th January 2020

By T. Igoumenidi

Members of the Hellenic Gaming Commission's (HGC) board of directors have received and extensively discussed conclusions of a relevant competition committee regarding an international tender for an integrated resort casino (IRC) at the Helleniko site, with a decision by the latter reportedly expected on Monday or Tuesday.

Members of the competition committee examined a large cache of documents and affirmations required for the international tender. Any decision by HGC will first be conveyed to the two suitors for the gaming concession, namely, a consortium comprised of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and Greek construction contractor Gek Terna, on the one hand, and Hard Rock International, on the other.

The two bidders will then have 10 days to appeal the decision.

As has widely been reported in local media, the competition committee has ostensibly ruled Hard Rock's offer as ineligible. The same reports over the past few weeks have consistently claimed that the US-based multinational's submitted a letter of guarantee fell short by several days of the date cited in the tender.

Another, also unconfirmed claim, is that Hard Rock did not sufficiently demonstrate its experience in overseeing similar construction projects.

In terms of the overall Helleniko real estate development project, one of the most iconic privatizations in Greece, the government will reportedly initiate another round of legislative measures this month to finally begin at least some building activity at the coastal southeast Athens site, mostly the demolition of structures there by Lamda Development, the concessionaire.

The Helleniko site hosted the old Athens airport and assorted other facilities, such as air bases, state services and even venues for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, most of which are now abandoned.

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