Tag Archive : success

Hard Rock Confident in Success of Greek Casino License Appeal

Hard Rock International is confident that it will win a court appeal of the Hellenic Gaming Commission’s decision to disqualify the hotel and casino operator from the race for a license for the development of a casino resort at a defunct airport near Athens, Greece.

The Greek gambling regulator awarded the license to another US-based casino and hospitality company – Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, earlier this year.

The license authorizes the tribal gaming and hotel operator to build a €1 billion casino resort as part of a larger complex, dubbed the Hellinikon, at the site of the former Ellinikon International Airport, just outside the Greek capital.

As mentioned above, Hard Rock was disqualified from the casino license race and the company appealed that decision. Its appeal was rejected by the Hellenic Gaming Commission and the Preliminary Appeals Authority.

Greece’s highest administrative court is set to hear the appeal today. Hard Rock spokesperson Michael Karloutsos told local media that the company “will ultimately win the competition for Hellinikon” and that it is the only company in the race “to have developed a project like this before and they will do it again.”

Mr. Karloutsos went on to say that Hard Rock “is the only contender with a recognizable global brand and a worldwide network with staying power that can attract much needed additional tourists to Greece.”

Insufficient Experience and Finances Behind Rejection of Hard Rock’s Bid

According to Greek news outlets, Hard Rock sent a letter of guarantee outside the timeframe specified by the Hellenic Gaming Commission. In addition, the regulator reportedly told the company that its application papers did not demonstrate sufficient development experience and did not meet financial criteria.

Companies interested in participating in the Hellinikon casino license bidding process had until early October 2019 to submit the necessary documents with the Greek gambling regulator.

Responding to comments about its lack of experience and finances for the project, Hard Rock said last year that it was “absolutely laughable” that the company’s expertise was being questioned.

Hard Rock operates hotel and casino resorts in Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, Mississippi, and Canada, and is looking to build an integrated resort in Japan. The company was also authorized to build a luxury resort in Spain.

As mentioned earlier, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and its INSPIRE Athens concept was selected as the preferred bidder for a casino resort at the Hellinikon. The eventual start of the project has been delayed for years, and the global coronavirus crisis has pushed back groundbreaking one more time.

Hard Rock’s legal challenge is expected to further delay the process. The company maintains that “it was wrongly disqualified” and that it was victim of “unfair and improper practice.” Hard Rock also says that it is ready to take the matter to Greek and even European courts to end up as the winner in the race for the casino license.

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Prague Gaming Summit celebrates success despite coronavirus worries

They call Prague the Heart of Europe and, at the Prague Gaming Summit, it was easy to see why.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak impeding the travel plans of many, organiser European Gaming Media and Events was congratulated on having the foresight not to cancel the event, as delegates from all over Europe descended on the Czech capital.

And while the virus, which has affected over 100,000 people across the globe, unfortunately shares its name with the Corona brand of beer, it’s a Fosters catchphrase that comes to mind when assessing the organiser’s decision to run the event: “Good call.”

Naturally, those who have cancelled trade shows, in many cases, can’t be blamed. That’s especially true when the decision to allow conferences with a high number of visitors ultimately comes down to the hotel or venue itself. Coronavirus’s impact on the gaming sector looks set to continue for a while longer and it’s something Gambling Insider will be looking further into as the week progresses.

But the Prague Gaming Summit could quite easily have been called off – and wasn’t; which very much proved to be the correct decision.

As it welcomed visitors from all over the continent, its variety of European interests was reflected on the conference agenda, with spotlights on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland and Greece. There was an equally sizeable focus on gaming law, with a contingent of some of the industry’s finest practitioners gracing the audience with their knowledge and insight. This was all before lunch alone.

As for Prague itself, what wasn’t to like? While I’ll need at least one more trip to appreciate the city in all its beauty, I was able to sample the local culture (see: beer) and meet some fantastic people along the way.

After my first-ever taste of vegan food during the complimentary lunch break, the room was split into two, with panels and round table discussions taking place either side of the divide. On the round table side, there were workshops on business strategies and geographical markets, while listeners on the other side of the room were treated to talks on personalisation, diversity in gambling and Generation Z.

It’s admittedly difficult to keep panels fresh in an industry where certain topics crop up over and over again: advertising and regulation, two of my favourite topics to discuss, are unfortunately two such well-trodden examples.

But there was particular praise from the audience at the Vienna House Andel’s Prague for Dr Robert Skalina, Senior Advisor at WH Partners, and Jan Řehola, Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal, for their knowledgeable breakdowns of the Slovakian and Czech markets, respectively.

Like a good dissertation, the Prague Gaming Summit also concluded with strength, with many agreeing the best panel of the day was saved until last. Tiago Aprigio, CEO at All-in Global, moderated as Martin Calvert, Marketing Director at ICS, Tassos Panagiotaros, Sales Director at Golden Race, Maximilian von Portatius, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sponsor.Online, Vlastimil Venclik, CEO at oddin.gg, and John Mallia, Team Manager – Gaming Accounts at Trustly, discussed how to engage the aforementioned Generation Z.

Don’t worry, if you became a little lost reading that list of names, the focus during the panel was laser-like as both moderator and speakers engaged their audience throughout, finishing the conference on a positive note.

No gaming event agenda is quite complete without networking drinks, of course, and, although the live saxophone made some conversations a little too hard to hear, a chilled local bar allowed everyone to unwind with a few drinks before the prospect of flying home the next day.

All conference talks will be available to view online on the Prague Gaming Summit website next week, while European Gaming Media and Events will host its next event in Tallinn, Estonia, at the Mare Balticum Gaming Summit in May. Let’s hope the coronavirus isn’t still impacting the gaming calendar by then.

Cultivating loyalty vital for Euros success

Josh Jolliffe, Sales Director – Europe and Africa at Genius Sports Media, believes operators should focus on creating loyalty among customers to combat churn during this summer’s Uefa European Football Championship (Euros).

Jolliffe told Gambling Insider there would be a high likelihood of churn during the football tornament if “the right retention strategy isn’t in place.”

He said: “Cultivating loyalty for as long as possible will be one of the main challenges to overcome, made harder by the fact most punters have multiple accounts and are subject to new sign-up offers on a daily basis.”

Jolliffe explained how creating engaging marketing campaigns could help operators maintain the interest of players throughout the Euros.

By combining knowledge of their player base with in-play data and tournament statistics, Jolliffe believes operators can ensure sportsbooks stay “relevant and appealing,” allowing them to make the most of the highly anticipated sporting event.

He said: “We think the answer is in creating campaigns that stay relevant for the entire tournament, which means customising your creative execution for each market and being as engaging as possible to your local, target audience.

“Most marketing teams will plan their pre-tournament campaigns well ahead of time but we’ve learned over the years how important it is to adapt your marketing strategies based on match results and in-play events.”

Jolliffe was speaking to Gambling Insider for our Sports Betting Focus magazine. Click here to read the full Euros 2020 preview feature when available.

The struggle & success story of the legend of the music industry – Emmanuel Almonor

Haven’t heard of Emmanuel Almonor yet? You must be living under a rock till now! Emmanuel has been all over the media in recent times due to the groundbreaking success of his Record Label. 

Right from an early age of 17, Emmanuel strived to be a successful person and had big dreams. Unlike others, he didn’t simply dream big but worked hard day and night to make those dreams a reality. But it’s easier said than done. He didn’t have the resources and neither the skills required to make it big in any industry. So he chose the best option that he had, which is working hard towards his dreams with whatever little he had at that time. That’s how he started working two jobs at the tender age of 17. Gradually he picked up more minimum pay jobs to make ends meet. There was almost nothing that this amazing young guy couldn’t do. Right from making Hollister & other clothes to repairing Xbox and other electronic items, he did everything. 

Working many jobs 

People at work and even friends would fondly call him Manny and the reason why everyone admired him so much is the fact that he was always ready to try something new. Even at such a young age there was almost nothing that could make him say no. He welcomed every opportunity in his life and hoped to learn something from every job that he took up. Maybe this led to him becoming such a multi-talented person later on in life. 

Rising from the ashes 

Things were going this way until one day the manager of AT&T met him somewhere and was taken aback by his convincing nature and stunning personality. He immediately offered Emmanuel a job at the sales department and that was his first step in the industry where he learned all the tips and tricks right from the experts. Soon he became a professional and was declared to be in the top 10 employee list. Then came the very first promotion of his life which left him overjoyed but things took a turn for the worse when most of his employees left and the entire store was managed by him single-handedly. 

After working double shifts like this for a while, he got multiple promotions and became the district manager. All this time when he was doing everything at the store by himself, he learned a lot about the different business techniques which would not have been possible otherwise. So you can say, to some extent, all those years at AT&T have made him what he is today. 

Becoming a legend! 

Soon after, he met someone who was insanely rich at a poker club and found out that he had a call centre. This intrigued him and he decided to leave everything & become a successful businessman and fulfil all those dreams he had as a child. It didn’t take long for him to launch a chain of businesses in various industries, including income tax, phone, car wash, lawn care, daycare, real estate, Amazon store and many more. Today, he has a globally renowned music label – The Omega Music Marketing which works closely with tons of internationally acclaimed artists & producers like London on the track, Migos, Gambino and many others! Hopefully, we will get to hear more of Omega Music Marketing in the coming years.