In South Korea, a consortium led by American casino operator Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has signed an agreement with Incheon International Airport Corporation to build an integrated casino resort on Yeongjong Island by 2020.
According to a report from the Yonhap News Agency, the Inspire Integrated Resort joint enterprise, which also includes South Korean chemical firm KCC Corporation, has now inked a lease deal for a 659.7-acre plot of land on the island west of Seoul and intends to spend approximately $5 billion to construct a new facility offering a casino, luxury hotel, shopping areas, an entertainment arena and convention venues.
Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which already operates Connecticut’s giant Mohegan Sun casino resort along with the Mohegan Sun Pocono facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, revealed that it intends to open the first stage of the new South Korean development by 2019 after investing around $1.6 billion.
“With the agreement, we have acquired the space to build the integrated resort,” read a statement from Kang Yeon-Sop from Inspire Integrated Resort. “We aim to build northeast Asia’s largest integrated resort, which is expected to draw about 10 million tourists annually.”
The land deal comes after the consortium won the right via a bidding process in February to build an integrated casino resort in South Korea and could see the finished project additionally include a theme park as well as a wellness center and other amenities.
Bobby Soper, President for Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, declared that the new project would help Incheon International Airport, which handles more than 45 million visitors a year and is building an additional terminal in order to increase capacity to about 62 million by 2017, realize its “airport city concept” by drawing tourists from around the globe.
South Korea is currently home to 17 casinos although only one, the Kangwon Land Casino And Hotel in rural Gangwon Province, is open to locals. This latest development will see the number of such venues increase to at least 20 by 2020 and could significantly help to improve the nation’s gross gaming revenues, which stood at $2.8 billion in 2015.