U.S. casino operator Mohegan allowed to push ahead with resort project

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-12-06 15:12 Updated : 2018-12-06 15:12
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[The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport]

SEOUL -- A huge integrated resort complex to be developed by US-based tribal casino firm Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) in South Korea's main gateway was back on track this week, shrugging off concerns about delays and adjustment which were fueled by the withdrawal of a domestic partner.

Incheon International Airport Corp. said Thursday that it signed a business cooperation agreement with MGE's special purpose company, Inspire, for the development of the Inspire resort complex at the international business area of the airport terminal on Yeongjong Island west of Seoul.

The complex would include a Paramount theme park, luxury hotels, an entertainment arena, a foreigners-only casino and other facilities. Incheon airport authorities hope that construction will begin in the first half of next year.

In 2015, MGE teamed up with KCC, a provider of construction materials and paints in South Korea, to launch the multi-phase development project. Previously, Mohegan said it would open the first phase of development by 2020, but progress has been slow. KCC pulled out later, forcing MGE to push ahead with the project alone. In November, the South Korean government approved a revised blueprint.

A total of $5 billion has been committed to the project for the succeeding phases to be constructed over a period of 20 years. Inspire is Mohegan's first development outside North America.

The western port city of Incheon has unveiled a series of development projects on reclaimed land in Yeongjong. Paradise City, a sumptuous casino and hotel complex, is still under construction after it opened its foreigner-only hotel-casino in April last year.

Incheon envisaged a blueprint to create Midan City combined with residence, commerce, business, education, culture, tourism and leisure together. However, China's real estate and property developer LongRunn International Group lost its right as the main contractor.