Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment says it is evaluating its options in Japan following the announcement late last month by Governor Naomichi Suzuki that Hokkaido will not pursue a bid to develop an integrated resort.
Mohegan is one of a handful of companies, alongside Hard Rock International and Rush Street Japan, to have committed its Japan IR ambitions to Hokkaido and even opened its new Tomakomai City office less than two months ago.
Asked by Inside Asian Gaming what the future now held for Mohegan in Japan and whether the company would switch to another regional location or withdraw altogether, Mohegan CEO Mario Kontomerkos said, “Regarding Hokkaido, we are evaluating our options.
“Although the outcome is not what we had hoped for, we understand the position of Governor Suzuki and respect his judgment regarding IR development in Hokkaido. We are especially grateful for the warm hospitality shown to us by the people of Hokkaido, our partners and our friends.
“We will continue to elevate the global integrated resort concept in Northern Asia via our Inspire development in South Korea, and we remain committed to the broader region.”
Mohegan announced last week that it had signed a new strategic partnership agreement with Korea’s Hanwha Corporation that will see Hanwha become development partner for its Inspire Korea project near Incheon.
The agreement, which Mohegan hopes will enable it to secure the final piece of funding needed to move ahead with the US$1.6 billion development, includes a US$100 million investment from the Korean construction giant. Mohegan’s new Korean partners will also manage non-gaming operations property-wide.