United States-based tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment says it has closed the financing to develop its casino resort at Incheon, South Korea. “The aggregate funding of US$1.55 billion will be used in Phase 1 of development” of the project in South Korea, said the company in a Monday statement.
Mohegan Gaming is developing the Inspire Entertainment Resort (pictured in a rendering), a complex that will have a foreigner-only casino, near Incheon International Airport, South Korea’s main air hub.
“The project is set to open its doors in 2023 to world travellers and gaming enthusiasts, generating an anticipated spike in visitation to the region and a revival of the South Korean tourism industry following Covid-19,” stated the firm.
According to Monday’s statement, Mohegan Gaming’s unit in South Korea, Inspire Integrated Resort Co Ltd, has now in place “the funding needed for the completion of construction of the project”.
The funding includes a total of US$575 million in equity, combining Mohegan Gaming’s US$300-million investment and US$275 million raised through global private equity firms, Bain Capital LP and MBK Partners Ltd. It also involves a KRW1.04-trillion (about US$890-million) loan, raised via a three-bank South Korean consortium including KB Securities Co Ltd, NH Investment and Securities Co Ltd, and Hana Financial Investment Co Ltd, stated the release.
Phase 1 of the Inspire resort is to feature three 5-star hotel towers, a 15,000-seat performance arena, a foreigner-only casino, and space for conventions, as well as shops, an indoor water park, and a large outdoor thematic space, dubbed the “Family Park”.
“Approximately 12 percent,” of project construction has been completed, said the company.
Monday’s release quoted Bobby Soper, international president for Mohegan Gaming, as saying: “We anticipate a significant rebound in the tourism and leisure industry following the pandemic, and we look forward to contributing to the Korean economy while at the same time opening and operating a successful, state-of-the-art resort.”
Mr Soper said in August the firm was aiming to open the casino project in South Korea by third quarter 2023 at the “latest”.
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”The hotel towers, convention hall, and arena are the cornerstones in Phase 1. The resort is mainly aimed at Koreans first”
President of the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea