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Hard Rock International front and centre of new Greek casino

Tue, Aug 27, 12:58pm by Staff Writer

Hard Rock International has tossed its hat into the ring for the development of a casino resort as part of an 8 billion euro complex that is planned to be built at the site of the defunct Ellinikon International Airport near Athens.

Casino News Daily reports that at a press conference held last Friday in the Greek capital, Hard Rock chief executive officer Jim Allen announced that the company has made a binding offer to bring a casino to the larger complex, which is dubbed Hellinikon.

The Florida-based gaming and hospitality company plans to invest 1 billion euros into the development of a casino resort as part of the larger complex.

Mr Allen further revealed that Hard Rock would self-fund its project with 250 million euros, supplemented by loans extended by Greek and foreign banks.

The development will include a casino with slot machines and table games, a hotel, a conference centre, dining outlets and entertainment areas.

Mr Allen went on to explain Hard Rock’s proposal will pay due respect to Athens’ rich heritage as an international city.

The company will work with local businesses to help it achieve that goal.

The Hard Rock boss told local media that the project, if approved by the Greek government, will create 3,000 new jobs during construction stage and 1,600 permanent jobs when the casino complex becomes operational.

Construction is expected to take between 20-26 months to be completed.

New app guidelines come into effect next month

In June this year, an update was made to Apple’s app store review guidelines that captured industry attention.

Poker News reports that the guidelines stated “HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce.”

The stated deadline for existing apps to comply is September 3.

The three months’ notice sent current online gaming providers scrambling, while also impacting brand new providers.

That’s because many developers already had (or were developing) apps written in HTML5 (and not in code native to Apple’s iOS).

Generally speaking, sports betting apps are easier for companies to adapt while the apps offering casino games are more difficult to manage, mainly because in the latter case, those apps are often more connected to the online casino websites (i.e. not created in the native code).

SugarHouse Casino, which began offering online sports betting in late May and had its online casino go live last month, has now provided a kind of workaround enabling its customers to place wagers with their iOS devices.

FanDuel and Parx Casino have likewise introduced compliant apps for sports betting and Hollywood Casino recently did the same by offering online slots and video poker via an iOS app.

Meanwhile Playtech, the world’s largest online gaming supplier, has also introduced a native-first product line that will help other operators fall in line.

Playtech’s new “Software Development Kit” will allow its clients to create their own iOS-native apps without needing outside developers.

It’s an important issue, as all casinos offering online gambling options want to be able to give customers the ability to place wagers, with their apple devices, especially in the US market where the iPhone closely rivals Android in popularity among smartphone users.

Whereas globally Android enjoys around a 75 per cent market share with iPhone a distant second, in the US it is closer to 55-45 in favour of Android.

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