The casino industry in South Korea looks like it will be getting some serious competition soon. Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment’s President and CEO, Mario Kontomerkos, announced the tribal casino operator has secured everything it needs for its upcoming Inspire project in South Korea, reports GGRAsia.
They expect the Inspire resort to be ready to open to some degree by 2021, with a second phase slotted to open in 2022.
“We have begun to mobilise construction at our development site in Incheon, South Korea, having completed our negotiations with our general contractor and following the receipt of all necessary construction permits and approvals,” said the CEO.
The resort is going to go up near the Incheon International Airport, the main hub of the country, and not far from the capital of Seoul. The operator has also previously announced a deal with Live Nation, an events and venue operator, as well as a partnership with Paramount Studios for a theme park. If they’re planning to have Star Trek and Transformers rides, count me in.
Inspire will be another foreigner-only casino, as most of the casinos in South Korea are. It’ll compete with the likes of Paradise Co, who have been killing it lately in increasing their revenue.
They aren’t the only American operator to be working on a resort near the airport. Caesars Entertainment is planning its own $700 million plan, but it doesn’t have the same amount of certainty of pushing through. In their recent earnings call, CFO Eric Hession said:
“We have to secure financing [for the South Korea project]. We have to get agreements and have the project come on budget, and so there’s always risk associated with any project of that type,”
No matter if South Korea gets a Caesars casino or not, South Korea is soon to be pretty crowded for foreigner-only casinos. Paradise might be growing, but other casinos have suffered. If the market gets any more crowded, someone is bound to lose. That may add to why Caesars is hesitant to break the bank on a project, and want to remain focused on a tight budget.