Lately, Mohegan Sun has been going all-in into expanding its operation overseas. The company has announced on Monday that it has finally made the crucial step towards opening its first casino in South Korea.
According to the release, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, has finally completed the $1.5 billion in financing needed for the first stage of the project. MGE is a corporation that operates various casino properties belonging to the Mohegan Tribe. And, it’s been a long time coming. Back in 2016, Mohegan Tribe made a historical step outside the US borders.
Six years ago, MGE was selected among many other potential investors and granted a South Korea Government license to develop an integrated resort at the Incheon International Airport. According to the initial plans, the grand opening was supposed to happen in 2022. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and everything that has been happening since forced the company to move the date a bit.
The first stage of the Inspire Entertainment Resort, as the new casino and resort complex will be called, is planned to be completed in 2023. The location of the future establishment is about 25 miles from Seoul, on Yeongjong Island in Incheon. According to plans, the integrated resort will feature three hotel towers with over 1,200 guest rooms and a casino intended only for foreigners.
It will also include an arena seating 15,000 people, an indoor water park, a convention center, and other premium amenities. Furthermore, future guests will have a chance to have some fun at the indoor/outdoor amusement park with 100,000 square meters of various high-tech rides.
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The international president at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, Bobby Sopper, noted that the corporation is expecting great results for its South Korean endeavor. He added that they anticipate a significant uptick in the tourism and casino industry as they recover from the pandemic.
When acquiring the license in 2016, MGE committed to developing a $5 billion resort in Incheon. Right now, they already have the $1.5 billion financing for the initial phase lined up. The company itself is contributing $300 million. The rest is coming from MBK Partners and Bain Capital who raised $275 million. The rest of the amount, $890 billion, is coming from three Korean banks and several other financiers.
The general contractor for the development is Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp. They’ve guaranteed completion and also put a further $85.5 million into the project. Another branch of the same corporation, Hanwha Hotel and Resort Co, will sponsor the hotel.
Per reports, the project is already about 12% completed.
The Mohegan Tribe and their corporation MGE already own several premium casinos in the US. The most notable is Mohegan Sun Casino, located in Connecticut. The tribe also owns five other casinos. These include the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania, the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, and the iLani Casino Resort in Washington state. However, the Inspire Entertainment Resort will be their first property outside the United States.