US tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment remains on track to officially break ground on its US$1.6 billion Korean integrated resort, Inspire, in the second quarter of this year as it moves closer to securing the final US$200 million it needs to fully fund the project.
Providing an update on development progress at the IR site in Incheon – located around 25km outside of Seoul – during the company’s earnings call for the three months to 31 December 2018, management revealed that Mohegan has now contributed the full amount of its US$300 million contribution and is in the final stages of capital raising.
“We have engaged a large and well-known investment bank to assist us with a portion of that capital raise,” explained Senior Vice President and CFO Drew Kelley of the remaining US$200 million. “We visited a number of institutions in late December. Many of the Asian markets have dramatically improved since those December visits to Singapore and Hong Kong among other places so we are very positively inclined as to the process there.
“There is also a healthy amount of government interaction and approvals. We certainly believe that we are well positioned in the coming quarter to complete the financing and move towards construction.”
The full US$1.6 billion investment includes US$200 million worth of infrastructure and improvements by Incheon International Airport Corp and US$900 million from “a consortium of blue chip Korean institutions,” according to Mohegan CEO Mario Kontomerkos.
While official ground-breaking is yet to take place, some work has already begun on the site with some footings, samplings and other work currently underway.
“We are starting to see the product and the vision come to fruition,” Kelley said.
Situated on land covering 1.7 million square meters near Incheon Airport, Phase 1 of Inspire will boast 150 gaming tables and 700 EGMs, a 15,000 seat arena, an indoor climate-controlled dome with a pool and rides, dining and retail, a 19,000 square meter conference and convention space and 1,250 hotel rooms.