Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort, at Incheon, South Korea, has been approved to receive a casino licence, the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed in a Wednesday statement.
Earlier this month, the property – to run a foreigner-only casino at Incheon, outside the country’s capital Seoul – had gained its five-star hotel rating from the Korea Tourism Association, a step said to be a precondition of gaming operations.
The complex is promoted by United States-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, an entity that trades as Mohegan Gaming.
According to the ministry’s release, the approval for gaming was on Tuesday, following a meeting it held on January 19. The meeting determined that Mohegan Inspire had fulfilled all legal requirements for gaming licensing and had completed the resort-complex design it had presented to the authorities at the time of its gaming licence application.
That release added a licensing condition was that Inspire must maintain investment in non-casino facilities, including entertainment.
A spokesperson at Inspire, who asked not to be identified, told GGRAsia on Tuesday that the resort hoped to open the casino venue before the Lunar New Year (February 10).
The addition of gaming will make Inspire the 18th licensed casino currently in that nation. South Korea already has 16 foreigner-only casinos, plus Kangwon Land Casino, the only venue in the country to be permitted to serve local players.
The ministry’s released said that Inspire’s casino licence was the first new permit since 2005. In the intervening years, new venues including Paradise City at Incheon, and Jeju Dream Tower, have opened, but were able respectively to utilise a licence transferred from another discontinued venue.
Inspire, near Incheon International Airport, opened its first-phase of non-gaming facilities on November 30, including 1,275 hotel rooms, 10 restaurants, and a 15,000-seat arena. Its hotel was officially rated five-star on January 3. An 11th restaurant – a ‘Michael Jordan’s Steak House’, said to the be the first outside the U.S. to carry such branding – opened in December.
(Updated 5.20pm, Jan 24)
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