U.S. tribal casino operator Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has announced that it has entered into several agreements with Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) with respect to a casino development project in the city of Incheon, South Korea.
The Connecticut-based tribal firm which also goes by the name Mohegan Sun is part of a consortium that is developing the Inspire Integrated Resort project in Incheon.
Its other partner is KCC Corp, a South Korean chemicals manufacturer. Also involved is the IIAC which is the business entity managing the airport facility located next to the project site.
Inspire is expected to feature a casino of over 215,000 square foot, and 1,350 luxury hotel rooms, along with a Paramount Studios-branded indoor theme park and a private air terminal at the nearby IIA. Mohegan Sun made the announcement of the agreements during an analysts’ conference call discussing the company’s results for the first quarter of 2017.
In a statement, Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive of Mohegan Sun said,
In April, we executed important agreements between Inspire and the Incheon International Airport Corp relating to the required surrounding infrastructure, the capital expenditures of which will be ultimately funded by the IIAC, our landlord on the project. Construction on those are expected to begin late this year or early next year
Etess also highlighted that the company had signed up with the project consortium for providing development services. Mohegan Sun will receive $40 million through the project’s development period which is likely to be around three-and- a-half to four years. Etess said that the company had recently received the first instalment of this totalling $10 million.
Inspire has a targeted opening of 2020 with a budget of $1.6 billion for its first phase. The project in its entirety has a budget of $5 billion spread over several phases across 20 years.
Mario Kontomerkos, Mohegan Sun’s chief financial officer stated that the design process in terms of architectural plans had reached a fairly advanced stage. He added that the project costing process was also in the process of being initiated.
Kontomerkos also referred to the opening of a new casino near the project site, stating that Mohegan Sun was hoping that Paradise City would be successful as it would play an important role in bringing in a critical mass of visitors to the area.
Visitors from mainland China are typically the biggest customer group for South Korea’s casinos, but the country’s tourism and gaming industry is currently suffering from China’s travel ban due to hostilities between the two countries.