Hard Rock Responds to Greek Setback

High profile US resort and casino brand Hard Rock International has announced its response to a recent setback in its attempts to gain a foothold in the Greek market.

Hard Rock had applied for a 30-year license to run a casino resort in the Athens area, but the company has since been discqualified by regulators in the Mediterranean country. The proposal was apparently turned down owing to both technical issues and the wider substance. To add insult to injury, the Greek authorities gave the casino permit to Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, one of Hard Rock’s major rivals.

In a statement issued to respond to the decision, Hard Rock said that they were disappointed with the process, and that the decision was based on poor reasoning. They also said that it was not necessarily the end of the matter and that they may be seeking to overturn the findings of the Greek authorities:

“Hard Rock engaged its legal counsel in Greece and has retained counsel in Brussels to review the matter. Hard Rock has uncovered that the law firm advising the Hellinikon IRC Tender Committee and the Hellenic Gaming Commission on our disqualification, has also represented a member of the competing bidder since 2008.” 

Hard Rock said that their competitors warranted disqualification due to what they described as deficiencies in the submissions they made. They highlighted what they saw as a potential conflict of interest and confirmed that they will be taking whatever steps are necessary to protect their brand from what they describe as unfair competition.

The decision was a major boost for Mohegan, who launched their proposal last year. They claim that the new resort and casino site will be able to create more than 7,000 jobs in the area, both direct and indirect. The new property is also part of a wider construction effort, worth €8 billion, known as the Hellinikon Project which will include a range of new leisure facilities.

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