The Hellinikon integrated resort is planned to become the biggest such property in Europe. Greece has prepared all the necessary legal paperwork to start the process of actually building the casino. However, before that, they need to choose one casino operator that will receive an exclusive license for leading this project.
A Licensing Battle Between Two Operators
The only two operators that applied were the US tribal giant Hard Rock International and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. The two companies hoped to go through the licensing process quickly, but Greece seems to have stumbled upon difficult paperwork problems, resulting in further delays of all the operations related to the Hellinikon project.
The €8 billion resort will be built near Athens in place of an old airport. However, to begin the building process, officials need to meet up and select the operator. According to the Greek media outlet, Ekathimerini, the Hellenic Gaming Commission will meet in mid-January to discuss the two license proposals from HRI and MGE.
They will focus on the strengths of the two bids and ultimately decide which one would get the exclusive right to operate the Hellinikon project.
One of the problems that arose along the way is related to HRI’s paperwork, which had several errors and was not according to the standards proposed by the Hellenic Gaming Commission. In other words, the Commission could declare the bid invalid, which means that MGE would remain the only bidder for the license.
There Are Problems All Along The Process
If the Commission declares the bid from HRI invalid, the tribal company has already threatened to sue them. According to HRI, that would give an unfair advantage to MGE, making the entire process obsolete.
However, if the Commission decides to give another chance to HRI, then the company would have to undergo the paperwork process all over again, which is going to take more time from the Commission. Moreover, MGE has also threatened to start legal action against Greece if they further prolong the licensing process.
In other words, Greece now faces a serious challenge which they will have to solve as soon as possible.
Finally, the problem is that the main construction company, called Lamda Development, cannot start the building process before the application is officially given to one of the operators. Moreover, Greece cannot receive money from any of the companies before the building process officially starts.
Looking For A Way Around These Issues
Now, Greek officials are looking for a sort of workaround that would allow Lamda to start working on the project even before the licensing problem is solved. It seems that we’re up for more delays, but that’s nothing new when it comes to Greek leaders.
If they somehow manage to pull it off, Hellinikon will truly be a European wonder. However, the road to success is paved with a lot of obstacles along the way, and Greece has to pull off a miracle to get the best out of the project they started.