Greek casino plan stalls yet again

By Mia Chapman Updated
Mohegan set to operate Greek casino 

The awarding of a new casino licence in Greece faces further delay after one of the two bidders failed to deliver all of the necessary financial data in preparing their bid.

Calvin Ayre reports that one of the two contenders, either Hard Rock International or Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, has delayed the Greek government’s decision anywhere from three to six months.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission has now found a way to drag the casino project out even further, after the government previously asserted there would be no more delays.

According to Greek news outlet Naftemporiki, one of the two firms included a letter of guarantee, as required, but it was “short by four days the prescribed length”.

The project has already been delayed more than once due to controversy and political fighting over whether or not it should be allowed.

The HGC had stalled efforts to see development take place, forcing extensions in the bidding process multiple times.

When Greece saw a new prime minister recently step in, the New Democracy Party’s Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he vowed to make a number of changes to help Greece speed up its economic recovery and forced the HGC to quit dragging its feet.

Greece has, on several occasions, received bailouts from the European Union due to a stalled domestic economy.

Provided no laws are broken, all politicians, regulators, decision makers and any other individual in position of authority should jump at the chance to have any industry come in and help turn things around.

A local company, Lambda Development, is ready to get started on the Hellinikon redevelopment project, which is reportedly worth $9 billion and centres on the former site of the Hellinikon International Airport.

This means more jobs, commercialisation and opportunities for the country.

Hard Rock International is prepared to spend around $1.1 billion on a casino resort project that would create several thousand construction jobs and approximately 1,600 permanent positions.

Mohegan Sun reportedly has a bid of about the same amount, and t he benefits of either company coming in would be huge to the local economy.

Once the dust settles on the latest delay and a winner is finally chosen, that entity will be afforded virtual exclusivity to operate the resort for 30 years.

The property will be allowed to have around 120 table games and more than 1,200 slots and must also include facilities for conferences, meetings and conventions.

Guitar-shaped casino resort for Mexico

Hard Rock International and Spanish gambling group Codere have reportedly been in talks to form a joint venture and build a guitar-shaped casino resort in Mexico.

Casino News Daily reported in August that newspaper El Confidencial reported last week that Hard Rock and Codere have agreed to a 60-40 partnership that will see the joint development and operation of a casino resort in Mexico City.

Mexico is a major market for Codere as the company has been extending aggressively its Latin American footprint in the past several years.

While El Confidencial reported that Hard Rock and Codere have already entered into a partnership, Spanish-language gaming news outlet AZARplus reported, citing information provided by Codere, that it was a bit too early to unveil more details about a potential “strategic alliance” with Hard Rock in Mexico.

It emerged last week that the two gambling companies have secured a site in Mexico City for the development of a guitar-shaped hotel and casino resort.

The property would cost $1 billion to be built and according to sources familiar with the ongoing talks between Hard Rock and Codere, the latter operator would invest about $360 million in the scheme.

Reports suggested that the Mexico City resort would feature 48 stories, a casino and betting area, dining outlets, and entertainment facilities, among other amenities.

The two gambling operators are believed to have tapped Credit Suisse to secure the bank loan they would need to raise the complex up from the ground.

If Hard Rock and Codere form a joint venture in Mexico and clear all the hurdles that accompany a project of this scale, they would develop the second guitar-shaped resort in the portfolio of the Florida-based gaming and hospitality giant.

The company is gearing up preparations for the upcoming opening of the renovated and expanded Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood resort in South Florida.

Hard Rock spent $1.5 billion on updating the property and adding the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, among other facilities.

The refurbished complex is slated to open doors on October 24.

The hotel tower and the other upgraded amenities at the resort would look to attract visitors throughout the country and around the world and “put South Florida on the map as a world-class gaming destination.”

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