MGE gets six-month extension for South Korea’s Inspire Entertainment Resort development project

South Korea’s Inspire Entertainment Resort

South Korea authorities have granted American casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) another six months to complete pending work on its Inspire Entertainment Resort development. MGE started building the $1.6 billion casino resort in 2016 with an aim to open the three-tower luxury hotel and some other premier amenities by the middle of 2022. But, the project suffered repeated delays due to various reasons, including complexities related to securing adequate funds and COVID-19 pandemic. Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government extended the deadline by six months.

To provide the operator with more time to complete the project, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism has once again extended the deadline by another six months. More precisely, MGE now has until the middle of 2023 to finish work on its Inspire Entertainment Resort.

MGE’s Andrew Billany reportedly declared that the casino operator has plans to spend nearly $300 million of its own cash to realize the planned development. The company will also borrow $900 million from local ‘blue-chip’ investors. Another $200 million will be invested by Incheon International Airport Corp., which is responsible for the neighboring Incheon International Airport. A similar amount will come in the form of corporate loans.

Speaking on the topic, Billany added, “We are thrilled to hear the news of the awaited business plan change approval from the government. We plan to normalize the resort construction shortly and fully dedicate our efforts on securing financing.”

The project is taking shape on a 1,079-acre plot of Yeongjong Island close to the port city of Incheon. When completed, the project will offer 1,300-room hotel, a 15,000-seat arena, a 24-acre amusement park, and a 215,200 square feet foreigner-only casino that will offer up to 1,500 slot machines in addition to nearly 250 gaming tables.

The government of Greece has recently also granted permission to MGE to start work on its Inspire Athens casino project. In Japan, the American gaming company is one of the few operators that are still in the race for one of the three gambling licenses that will be put up for grabs in the Land of Rising Sun.

In the United States, federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe-owned MGE is already operating around a dozen casino resorts, including the giant Mohegan Sun facility in Atlantic City’s 942-room Resorts Casino Hotel.