US casino and hospitality operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment appears to have delayed the opening of its INSPIRE Entertainment Resort in South Korea, according to an investor presentation on the company’s financial performance in the quarter ending September 30, 2020.
Mohegan, who provided updates on the development of the multi-million dollar integrated casino complex currently under construction near Korea’s Incheon Airport, said it is now scheduled to open in early 2023. Previously, the property was projected to open in the second half of 2022.
That information comes several months after Mohegan CEO Mario Kontomerkos said its first Asian casino complex was on track to be launched in 2022, despite construction delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
There were also recent reports that Mohegan was experiencing difficulties obtain capital to complete the mega-scheme and that there were disagreements between the Connecticut-based casino operator and its Korean development partners, as the latter required that all outstanding funds be paid in full and more funds be guaranteed before construction work can resume. .
INSPIRE Entertainment Resort is not the only mega-resort that a large American company plans to launch in Korea. Casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. is currently building what it would operate as Caesars Korea as part of a larger project called Midan City on Korea’s Yeongjong Island. Caesars was also reported to have faced construction delays and disputes with local partners over project financing.
Mohegan to close financing in early 2021
Mohegan said in his recent presentation that he hopes close funding for its Korean project in early 2021. The integrated complex will be built and opened in several phases. Its first phase, which is expected to launch in early 2023, is estimated to cost $ 1.6 billion.
INSPIRE Entertainment Resort is currently being built on a site of 1.7 million square meters near Incheon International Airport, the largest airport in the country, the main airport serving the Seoul area, and one of the busiest travel hubs in the region.
Mohegan expects its complex to attract more than 70 million annual visitors once it is fully operational thanks to its proximity and its association with the airport.
Phase one of the company’s future Korean resort will include a 5-star hotel with more than 1,200 rooms, suites and luxury villas, a foreigners-only casino with 700 slot machines and 150 table games, a 15,000-seat entertainment arena, a large meeting and conference venue that will house the largest ballroom in Seoul, commercial facilities, food and beverage outlets, and different entertainment offerings.
Mohegan was also selected this year to build and operate a luxury casino complex near Athens, Greece, as part of the larger Hellinikon scheme.
The company is also set to enter the Las Vegas market soon as the first tribal operator to run a casino there. Mohegan secured its entry into that market through a partnership with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, the renovated and renowned Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The property was expected to open on January 15, 2021, but property officials have delayed opening indefinitely due to weak business volumes in Las Vegas stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.