Hard Rock International lost the bid to build the casino resort at Hellenikon, outside Athens, when the Hellenic Gaming Commission selected competing bidder Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment on January 20.
But according to a press release sent to The Pappas Post, the company isn’t going down without a fight.
Hard Rock officials in Athens said they are appealing the Hellenic Gaming Commision’s decision and that they were “unfairly treated” in the “improperly determined” bid process.
The company has legal counsel both in Greece and Brussels and will bring the matter before the European Commission.
“Hard Rock will take the necessary actions to protect the Company and its Brand from unfair and improper practices both in Greece and with the European Commission,” an official statement said. “The Company’s goal is to see that a fair process for the tender is completed and that the technical and financial sections of the submission are opened for both parties to ensure a transparent outcome.”
Officials added that they still support Greece’s New Democracy government and hope for intervention by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“Hard Rock remains supportive of the current Greek administration and is hopeful that [Mitsotakis] will personally take action to investigate the claims put forth in our appeal and work toward his administration’s promise of a business friendly environment and a bright future for the country of Greece.”
Mohegan’s plans for the new complex — to be known as INSPIRE Athens — call for a luxury hotel, several entertainment venues, a convention center, retail shopping, numerous restaurants and a casino.
“We understood that INSPIRE Athens was meant to symbolize more than an integrated resort,” Mohegan Gaming CEO Mario Kontomerkos said.
“It is our hope that INSPIRE Athens would be the catalyst that sparks the entire development of the Hellenikon area into the coveted Athenian Riviera, forever redefining the modern identity of Greece.”
“The offer of INSPIRE Athens has been accepted,” the Hellenic Gaming Commission said in a January 20 statement.
Last October, Mohegan unveiled its plans for the casino, which took inspiration from the ancient Greek caryatids.
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