Reports: One of two candidates for Helleniko casino license faces disqualification; competition process drags on

Wednesday 11th December 2019

By T. Igoumenidi

One of the two official bidders for an Integrated Resort Casino (IRC) concession at the emblematic Helleniko property development project reportedly faces disqualification from the tender competition.

According to reports, the relevant Hellenic Gaming Commission (HCC), the independent authority overseeing gaming licenses and the sector's operation in the country, will take a final decision in the coming days, after receiving transcripts by a relevant competition.

However, both the HCC and the Mitsotakis government, which has staked much of its pro-investment and pro-market credentials on finally witnessing the commencement of the massive privatization entailed with Helleniko, reportedly want the two offers to remain on the table.

Conversely, leaks from within the process point to "deficiencies" in one of two offers that cannot be overcome.

The two candidates for the IRC license, with a projected capital investment of roughly one billion euros, are a consortium comprised of US-based Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) with listed Greek construction company Gek Terna, on the one hand, and Hard Rock International (ΗRI), on the other.

Both candidates submitted binding offers on the last day of a deadline, Oct. 4, 2019, with the government then promising a decision on the top offer by late 2019.

However, the evaluation and ratification process for accompanying legal documents has still not been completed.

The same reports claim that the primary reason for the possible disqualification of one of the two candidates is a wrong date - expiring four months earlier that prescribed - on a submitted letter of credit to guarantee the project's financing.

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