BUSINESS

CoS to reject Hard Rock’s case

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Privatizations, Business

The Council of State is on Friday expected to pave the way for the opening of the sole financial offer in the tender for the development of a casino complex at Elliniko: The country’s highest administrative court will hear Hard Rock’s case against its exclusion from the tender for reasons related to the adequacy of its bid.

Sources say Hard Rock itself as well as Mohegan, which is now alone in the running, estimate that the CoS will reject the case.

If these estimates prove correct, and once the verdict of the CoS is published, the Hellenic Gaming Commission will be able to open the Mohegan bid and declare the preferred bidder. At best this process will be completed by the end of October. It will be followed by the drafting and signing of the contract between the state and the bidder, ahead of clearing the State Audit Council so that it can be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

Legal sources familiar with the time frame required in such procedures say that, barring any unforeseeable circumstances, the process will be completed by the end of this year or the start of 2021. Selecting an investor for the casino is a condition for the economic aspect of the Elliniko project’s transaction to proceed, with contractor Lamda Development due to pay the first tranche of 910 million euros.

Besides the contract between the investor and the state concerning the casino’s development, the contract between Lamda and the bidder must also be signed. Kathimerini understands that a draft contract was discussed before the submission of bids at the gaming watchdog, as the investors interested need to be aware of what they would have to pay the contractor who will concede the plot for the casino to them. Based on that information, the casino operator will pay a minimum guaranteed amount plus about 5% of gross revenues of its activities – i.e. not just gaming but also the hotel and other commercial activities.

The completion of all this should allow for the application for the casino construction licenses early in 2021, to be issued later in the year.

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