he Connecticut-based casino operator signed a deal with South Korea’s primary airport operator that would see $5bn invested into a large-scale project over the next 20 years.
Chief Executive of the Authority, Bobby Soper, travelled to South Korea last week to submit the response to the government-issued request for proposals ahead of Friday’s deadline. Soper told Connecticut media he was unsure of the total number of proposals submitted, but seventeen were whittled down to seven, with six of those in the Incheon area.
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is expected to issue up to three casino licenses next year, including two in Incheon. Proposals have already been received by international operators including Las Vegas Sands, Genting and SunCity. Each resort requires a minimum $850m investment and casinos would only be allowed to cater to foreigners.
MTGA, which runs Mohegan Sun Connecticut, one of the largest casinos in the US, partnered with Incheon International Airport Corporation to build “a visionary, first of-its-kind resort” called Inspire Integrated Resort, said Soper. He also confirmed MTGA will partner KCC Corp, a South Korean chemical and building firm, which has acquired a 24.5pc stake of the project.
“They’re a perfect complement. Not only do they have experience in development and contracts in Korea, but they’re also aligned with our core values of community and relationships, transparency and integrity,” said Soper.
The latest plans for Inspire call for three hotels with a total of 1,350 rooms, a theme park, a large entertainment complex, several food and beverage options, as well as convention and meeting space. In addition, the resort would feature what has been described by the Authority as a “world class” casino with approximately 1,500 slot machines and 250 tables.
Mohegan officials still need to present the project to the South Korean government, confirmed Soper, who expects to receive a decision on the application in January or February next year. If it wins a license, MTGA and its partners could develop and launch the first phase of the ambitious project in early 2020.