South Korean chemicals manufacturer KCC Corp on Friday announced it had acquired a 24.5-percent stake in Inspire Integrated Resort Co Ltd, a company that plans to develop a casino resort and amusement park near South Korea’s Incheon International Airport.
U.S. regional tribal casino operator Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, known as Mohegan Sun, has said it established the Inspire Integrated Resort entity in order to pursue potential gaming opportunities in South Korea. As of June 30, Inspire Integrated Resort was 100 percent owned by Mohegan Sun.
In Friday’s filing to the Korean Exchange, KCC Corp said it was investing KRW203.8 billion (US$176 million) to buy nearly 2.04 million shares of Inspire Integrated Resort.
KCC Corp provides products for the construction, automotive, electronics, consumer and industrial appliance, and fast-moving consumer goods industries in South Korea and internationally.
Mohegan Sun confirmed to GGRAsia a fortnight ago it would submit a proposal to build an integrated resort – including a foreigners-only casino – in South Korea’s Incheon Free Economic Zone.
The deadline for submissions under a request for proposal process, being held by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is this Friday, November 27. The country’s government is poised to issue up to two new gaming licences, and the winners are expected to be announced before the end of this year.
It had been reported in August that the competition had been slimmed to nine contenders for up to two permits.
Mohegan Sun’s project (pictured in a rendering) includes a 20,000-square metre (215,278-sq. feet) casino with 250 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines. It would also have a private air terminal, which would be part of the resort.
In addition to the private air terminal and casino, the property would have a two-tower luxury hotel complex with 1,000 rooms, a 20,000-seat arena, and more than 18,500 sq. metres of shops, restaurants, art exhibitions and music entertainment areas.
The total cost of the first phase is estimated at US$1.6 billion, with a commitment to spend a total of US$5 billion over 20 years, according to Mohegan Sun.
Two casino operators – Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd and Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd – that were identified in South Korean media reports as interested in a South Korean integrated resort licence, have recently separately issued statements saying they would not pursue such permits.
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”Assuming that our [Tigre de Cristal] phase two project and the other future operators’ development plans remain on track, we may see the benefits of a ‘cluster’ effect [in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone] as early as 2021”
Summit Ascent, lead developer of Tigre de Cristal