Greece has been on a long journey of building its first casino resort, which would be the biggest of its kind on mainland Europe. However, this journey hasn’t been really smooth, as there is an ongoing legal battle on top of the overall disagreement whether the resort should be built in the first place.
After a long debate, the lawmakers of Greece decided to approve the Hellinikon project. The resort is to be built on the place of an old Athenian airport, and it is aimed to become an exclusive destination at the heart of the country.
The new problems arose when there weren’t enough applicants for the projects. The only two operators interested were Hard Rock International (HRI) and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE). After a lot of industry and legal obstacles, the legislators of Greece decided that MGE is definitely a better choice for the project.
However, HRI is now more determined than ever that it would be the one to receive the license to build and operate the Hellinikon casino resort. According to HRI, the reasons why their application was disqualified was “ridiculous.” That’s why the officials of the big gaming operator are ready to call the European Commission (EC) to jump in and help them resolve the ongoing issue.
Hard Rock International — There’s No Giving Up
The Hard Rock International lawyers also operate on a country-level, meaning they seek help in Greece as well. They first went to the Greek Preliminary Appeals Authority and reached out to the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), which rejected HRI’s application as irregular. There hasn’t been much success in that approach.
Nevertheless, HRI plans to try with the highest appeals court that exists in Greece — the Greek Supreme Administrative Court.
This strategy of appeals on every possible legal front is bound to bring positive results. At least, that’s what Michael Karloutsos, the spokesperson for HRI, stated for the National Herald. He said that HRI would “ultimately win the competition for Hellinikon.”
Moreover, Karloutsos added that his company was the only one to have experience with projects like Hellinikon and that they planned to do it again. He was confident that HRI is the brand that is recognized around the world, meaning it would be able to attract “much-needed tourists to Greece.”
The reason why HRI’s application was refused in the first place was the lack of construction experience and no financial support for their $1.1 billion expense for the project. Moreover, HRI’s letter of guarantee was allegedly sent outside the determined timeframe.
On the other hand, HRI’s officials say that they have the proof to counter all the claims made by HGC — even for the “serious irregularities” that existed during the application process.
Either way, this is yet another big obstacle in the process of getting the Hellinikon project a go. It’s still in its “paperwork phase,” and no steps have been taken when it comes to starting the construction process.
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