May 7, 2020 / 3:10 PM / a month ago

Greek court rejects Hard Rock's injunction over Athens casino tender

ATHENS, May 7 (Reuters) - Greece’s top administrative court rejected on Thursday an injunction filed by U.S. group Hard Rock International to stop a tender for the construction and operation of a luxury casino in Athens, judicial sources said.

Hard Rock was one of two bidders in October for the contract to build and operate the casino resort for 30 years, part of an 8 billion euro ($8.6 billion) redevelopment on the site of the former Athens airport of Hellenikon, which has been mired by delays.

The other bidder was U.S.-based Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which was partnered by Greek construction company GEK TERNA.

In January, the Greek gaming commission rejected Hard Rock’s bid, prompting the company to seek the injunction although it has not disclosed its reasoning.

Hard Rock can still take legal action against the tender. But Thursday’s ruling opens the way for the gaming commission to proceed with the tender and unseal Mohegan’s technical and financial offers, a source close to the process told Reuters.

Mohegan said on Monday it remained fully committed to the casino in Athens despite the impact of the coronavirus.

Naming the final winner for the casino will allow Greece to lease the property to Lamda Development which plans to turn the sprawling, abandoned plot of Hellenikon, which was the site of Olympic venues in 2004, into one of Europe’s biggest tourist resort after years of bureaucracy. ($1 = 0.9282 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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