Construction of the Inspire Entertainment Resort, a complex at Incheon, South Korea, was “approximately 97 percent” completed at the end of August, according to its promoter, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
“Construction progress is tracking to plan,” said the United States-based entity, trading as Mohegan Gaming. The “property opening is still on pace for calendar fourth quarter of 2023,” it added in a presentation deck published on Thursday, as part of an investor day.
Mohegan Gaming had announced earlier this year that it would launch some non-gaming parts of the project in the last quarter of 2023. That would be followed by the foreigner-only casino, in likelihood early next year.
The property’s president, Chen Si, told GGRAsia in July that the company would first “need to get the five-star hotel rating,” before being able to “officially apply for the casino licence”.
The executive said the company was aiming to launch the casino’s operations by the Chinese New Year holiday period in 2024, which starts on February 10.
The first phase of the Inspire Entertainment Resort has been described by the company as a US$1.6-billion venture.
The casino complex will include 1,275 rooms and suites, and a 15,000-seat multipurpose arena. The casino will house a total of 150 gaming tables and 700 slot machines.
Ray Pineault, Mohegan Gaming’s chief executive, said during the group’s most recent earnings conference in August, that he couldn’t give any guarantees regarding a date to launch gaming operations, as it “is not in our control”.
He stated: “We’ve got to open the hotel and the non-gaming amenities, to get our rating on the hotel, to get the casino licence.”
In Thursday’s presentation, Mohegan Gaming said the potential market size for its casino resort was forecast at 4.7 million “gaming trips” annually, including inbound visitors and foreign residents or dual passport holders.
About 4.2 million of these “gaming trips” would by mass and premium-mass customers, with an estimated “market value” of US$593 million annually, according to the firm’s assumptions.
The company said it expected about 10 percent of its customers to be VIPs, with an estimated “market value” of nearly US$1.24 billion.
The casino developer said it would use its “player development team” and branch offices to attract premium-mass customers, as well as some high-rollers. But the firm also said it would “partner with large international junket firms to attract players and provide accompanying credit and collection procedures”.
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”We committed to the government to provide a full business idea and plan for Phase 1b around 12 months after the casino opens, therefore, probably early 2025”
President of the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea