The tender for an integrated resort and casino at Elliniko has taken a critical turn as Hard Rock Cafe is threatening “mass appeals” if the group is knocked out of the tender amid reports that the end-November deadline would be missed as one of the two bidders has failed to submit certain required documentation.
That could result in a four-month delay in the announcement of the contract winner, as naming the retained bidder is a necessary condition for the transaction to be completed and for the leader of the consortium undertaking the investment, Lamda Development, to start construction at the site of the former airport in Elliniko.
On the opposite side, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), in partnership with Greek contractor GEK Terna, is extending the same threat in case of non-compliance – which in their case would mean the designation of Hard Rock Cafe as the winner of the tender.
This project represents the biggest foreign direct investment Greece has seen in the past 10 years in developing a tourism and entertainment complex from scratch. The two bidders expect the investment to exceed 1 billion euros by far; in any case, both bidders have been putting up a fight from the outset, demonstrating their dedication to winning the Elliniko casino tender.
The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), which put the project out to public tender, seems to be religiously abiding by the rules and proceedings of the contract notice. The government has confirmed that all laws and regulations will be meticulously complied with to prevent any ambiguities in the result of the tender which will shape the future of the former airport site.
Consequently, after consulting with legal advisers on each bid, the special committee set up by the HGC to conduct the invitation to tender is now calling the candidates for evaluation in order to report back to the HGC, which will determine the best combined offer.
Nevertheless, reliable sources say things are not looking good for Hard Rock Cafe; its representative Michael Karloutsos claims that although the group trusted the HGC special committee’s integrity, it would have no problem in taking the case to court if it felt cheated in any way by the results.