BUSINESS

Hard Rock International ruled out of Elliniko casino tender

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations, Business

The Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) has unanimously accepted the conclusions of the committee for the tender of the Elliniko casino concerning the rejection of the bid by Hard Rock International (HRI).

Reliable sources say the decision was made at last Friday’s EEEP board meeting. This decision rules HRI out of the running for the casino license at the old Athens airport plot.

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 Mohegan Gaming Entertainment (MGE) and GEK Terna. Kathimerini understands that the conclusions of the committee are in favor of accepting the bidder’s offer, and it appears EEEP will side with the committee’s conclusions. Therefore the tender for the casino permit will continue from now on only with the participation of the MGE-GEK Terna consortium.

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.

Nevertheless 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 say 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.

Kathimerini understands that the tender committee 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.

With the result of the EEEP voting at 9-0 in favor of rejecting the HRI bid and the fact that both the EEEP board and the tender committee were appointed by the previous government adds greater significance to the decisions by the two entities, showing it is unlikely they would be influenced by the current administration.

Online