The government for South Korea has reportedly granted American casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment another six months to complete work on its coming Inspire Entertainment Resort development.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the firm began building the $1.6 billion casino resort in 2016 with plans to open the three-tower development by the middle of next year. However, the source detailed that this schedule was later scuppered as a result of delays linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the complexities associated with securing adequate sources of funding.

Global goal:

An enterprise of the United States’ federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is already responsible for a domestic estate of ten casino resorts including the giant Mohegan Sun facility in eastern Connecticut and Atlantic City’s 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel. Intent on expanding internationally and the operator was recently granted official permission by the government of Greece to begin work on its Inspire Athens project and remains in the running for one of the three gambling licenses being put up for grabs in Japan.

Stretched spell:

The deadline extension from South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reportedly means that Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment now has until the middle of 2023 to finish work on its Inspire Entertainment Resort, which is taking shape on a 1,079-acre plot of Yeongjong Island land near the port city of Incheon. When completed, the 1,300-room development is purportedly expected to feature a 15,000-seat arena, a 24-acre amusement park and a 215,200 sq ft foreigner-only casino offering a selection of up to 1,500 slots as well as some 250 gaming tables.

Pricey project:

Andrew Billany from Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment reportedly declared that his company is planning to spend approximately $300 million of its own cash to realize the Inspire Entertainment Resort development and anticipates borrowing an additional $900 million from a selection of more local ‘blue-chip’ investors. The executive purportedly explained that the entire bill is to moreover encompass another $200 million in infrastructure improvements from Incheon International Airport Corporation, which is responsible for the adjacent Incheon International Airport, alongside an analogous amount in corporate loans.

Billany reportedly proclaimed…

“We are thrilled to hear the news of the awaited business plan change approval from the government. We plan to normalize the resort construction shortly and fully dedicate our efforts on securing financing.”

Rival re-think:

The extension for Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment comes only two weeks after Chinese developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Company Limited was granted a further year to complete work on its own Midan City Resort Complex. This $800 million development formerly known as Caesars Korea had originally been scheduled to open at the other end of Yeongjong Island last month but suffered through a similar raft of coronavirus-related delays alongside the subsequent February departure of former operating partner Caesars Entertainment Incorporated.

Executive exit:

In related news and Inside Asian Gaming furthermore reported that Mario Kontomerkos (pictured) yesterday announced that he was stepping down as the Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment following a 41-month spell. This was purportedly prefaced by a revelation that the tribal operator’s former boss, Bobby Soper, has now returned to lead its international expansion efforts with particular focus on South Korea and Japan.