American tribal casino operator the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has reportedly “executed important agreements” with Incheon International Airport Corporation regarding its plan to build a $5 billion integrated casino resort in South Korea.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is partnering with Incheon International Airport Corporation and South Korean chemicals manufacturer KCC Corporation in hopes of building the Inspire Integrated Resort on Yeongjong Island only a few miles from the nation’s third largest city, Incheon.
The owner of the giant Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut along with Pennsylvania’s Mohegan Sun Pocono, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority reportedly made the revelation concerning a development services agreement during a recent conference call to discuss its first-quarter financial results while additionally declaring that the first phase of the project is expected to open in 2020 at a cost of around $1.6 billion.
“In April, we executed important agreements between Inspire [Integrated Resort] and the Incheon International Airport Corporation relating to the required surrounding infrastructure, the capital expenditures of which will be ultimately funded by the Incheon International Airport Corporation, our landlord on the project,” Mitchell Etess, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, reportedly told investors during the conference call. “Construction on those is expected to begin late this year or early next year.”
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority’s first venture outside of North America, the Inspire Integrated Resort is due to feature a 20,000 sq ft foreigner-only casino with 1,500 slots and 250 gaming tables alongside a trio of hotel towers offering some 1,350 rooms. The development is to moreover include a 15,000-seat arena and a theme park as well as convention space, shops and restaurants while the American firm reportedly expects to pocket 3% of all revenues along with fees during construction of approximately $40 million and annual management payments of around $30 million for the length of its 24-year partnership.
“Just last week, we received our first installment totaling $10 million under this agreement,” Etess stated during the conference call. “We continue to target an overall project opening for 2020.”
Mario Kontomerkos, Chief Financial Officer for the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, reportedly told investors that the halfway point had been reached in terms of developing the final design for the Inspire Integrated Resort with the scheme “fairly advanced in the architectural process”.
“We are also now able to do some much better costing exercises,” Kontomerkos stated during the conference call. “From a project financing perspective, I think we are actually beginning that process now. It is going to take some time.”
The Inspire Integrated Resort is one of three integrated casino resorts that are set to appear in the Incheon area over the next few years. Last month saw local firm Paradise Company Limited and Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Incorporated inaugurate their nearby Paradise City property while a consortium that includes Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation is hoping to open the $739 million Casino Incheon project within the next five years.
“We look forward to their success,” Kontomerkos stated during the conference call. “Their projects add significant critical mass to make the airport be a true entertainment destination that we’re looking to turn Incheon into and so we hope they do well.”