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Mohegan Inspire to open non-gaming ahead of casino

February 13, 2023 South Korea Emerging Markets

United States-based casino operator Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority says construction of its casino resort project at Incheon, near the South Korean capital Seoul, is “running ahead of schedule”.

“We anticipate project completion and non-gaming opening in the latter part of 2023, with the casino opening shortly thereafter upon licensing,” stated the company’s chief executive, Raymond Pineault.

“Project completion was 45.3 percent at the end of January,” with construction progress about “4.5 percent ahead of plan,” he added.

His comments were made on Thursday on a conference call with investment analysts following the firm’s quarterly results.

The project includes a foreigner-only casino, plus leisure offerings and 1,270 rooms and suites. The whole complex is being developed by a local unit of Mohegan. When construction is completed, the resort will also have a 15,000-seat multi-purpose arena, according to the promoter.

“Following a comprehensive review of Mohegan Inspire, we anticipate making additional equity investments to fund a variety of items related to the project,” Mr Pineault said.

Regarding the additional investment, the CEO said a “significant area of focus” related to the expansion of hotel rooms and space for conventions and meetings, as well as extra “food and beverage capacity”.

Mr Pineault said the extra investment aimed to ensure non-gaming amenities “were sufficient to capture strong market share and support other programming for the resort, including for the arena.”

He added that Mohegan also had prepared “additional funding” for pre-opening expenses, and to cover “some increased costs and provide for additional working capital”.

In January, Mohegan announced details of a funding agreement with Hanwha Corp, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, regarding the Inspire resort.

Mohegan had announced in late 2019 the appointment of Hanwha Corp as the main contractor for the South Korean project. Hanwha Hotels & Resorts Co Ltd, also part of the Hanwha group, has an agreement to manage non-gaming offerings at the property, including hotel operations.

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