Mohegan advances in Greek casino resort tender, Hard Rock rejected: source

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of the former airport complex at Hellenikon, Athens, Greece, August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has put Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment into the next phase of a long-delayed tender process to build and operate a luxury casino resort in Athens but rejected Hard Rock International, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday.

The two U.S. groups had bid in October for the construction and 30-year operation of the casino resort, with Mohegan partnered by Greek construction company GEK TERNA HRMr.AT.

The winner of the tender will build a casino on a site of at least 1.2 hectares, with a minimum of 120 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines. There will also be a luxury hotel, entertainment venues, a conference center and sports center in a planned 8 billion euro tourist resort on the site of the former Athens airport in Hellenikon.

Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the source said that Hard Rock submitted documents that failed to meet the tender’s criteria for financing of the project and required construction experience.

Once the bidders are officially notified of the decision, they have the right to appeal within 10 days. The opening of the technical offers will then follow.

Greece attracted a record 33 million tourists in 2018, with last year’s number expected to match that.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by David Goodman