United States-based tribal casino operator, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, told GGRAsia that the company has made “no further adjustment to the opening schedule” of its multibillion U.S.-dollar casino resort project in South Korea. The company “has narrowed” the opening date to the second half of 2022, said a spokesperson in an emailed statement.
The scheme – known as ‘Inspire’ (pictured in an artist’s rendering) – is located at Incheon, near South Korea’s capital Seoul. Mohegan Gaming had said previously that it expected to open the scheme during 2022.
The plan for a second-half 2022 opening “reflects the realities of a more stringent Covid-19 -compliant construction process and alterations to design to create a safer environment for guests and employees,” said the Mohegan Gaming spokesperson.
“The pace of construction has been impacted by lockdowns and quarantines in the United States and Asia, interrupting the movements of professionals and business activities critical to the development, design, and construction of the project,” added the person.
The first phase of Inspire is to include 1,250 hotel rooms, a 15,000-seat entertainment venue, and 40 food and beverage outlets; as well as a foreigner-only gaming venue with 160 table games and 700 slot machines, according to Mohegan Gaming’s latest annual report filed in December.
A total capital commitment of US$5 billion has been mentioned for multiple phases over two decades. According to the Korea Times newspaper, the scheme is to be developed in four phases, with the final one to be completed by 2031.
In its statement, Mohegan Gaming said that it would take advantage of the “slower pace” of construction to make adjustments to the design in order to “create a post-Covid-19 experience that places focus on the safety” of guests and employees.
It added: “In close cooperation with the relevant agencies, Mohegan Gaming will endeavour to address any remaining gaps in the development process and make adjustment to the opening timeline.”
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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