Greece’s highest court issued its final decision on Friday, putting a long-running legal dispute between Hard Rock International and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) to an end by rejecting the former’s case which claimed it had wrongfully been excluded from a bid to operate a casino resort in Greece.
The Council of State rejected on Friday, Hard Rock’s case in an ongoing battle for the 30-year rights to operate the first integrated resort and casino on the yet-to-go-up Hellinikon mega complex on the Athenian Riviera.
The decision now opens the way for Mohegan to table its financial bid and await approval by Greece’s gaming committee. Greek Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis confirmed on Thursday, that the decision would accelerate procedures for the construction of the casino – the first project to go up at Hellinikon – by the end of this year or in early 2021.
Sources close to the project are claiming, however, that plans will further delay with the permit and contract to be finalized no earlier than in 2021, which would mean construction would likely start in 2022 in the best case scenario.
It should be reminded that selecting the developer of the casino resort is a requirement for the 9-billion-euro Hellinikon project – to be implemented by Lamda Development – to proceed.
According to media reports, Hard Rock may decide to file a suit against Greek authorities in European courts. The US entertainment firm has already sought guidance on the case from the European Commission.
Together with its partner in Greece, GEK TERNA, MGE will proceed with its INSPIRE Athens project for the casino which includes a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, convention center, shopping, dining, a casino with 120 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines, and a comprehensive mix of premium amenities, set to create 7,000 jobs.