The CEO of US tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment says the company remains on track to open its South Korean integrated resort Inspire in 2022.
In an interview with casino.org over the weekend, Mario Kontomerkos said that international expansion was now more important than ever for Mohegan in the wake of COVID-19, with Inspire, currently being developed in Incheon near Seoul, still scheduled to become the company’s first operation outside of North America within the next two years.
“The coronavirus has been a big perspective changer in a lot of different ways,” Kontomerkos said. “But it has strengthened our resolve in the way we do business. My main job is to provide for the next generation of tribal members here and then their next generation. It’s always been a very long-term-oriented approach.
“The pandemic has shown us that diversification into the international arena is important for our ability to stand for those generations, and so the project in South Korea, called Inspire, remains on track for launch in 2022.
“We have a property under construction in Las Vegas that’s on track to open later this year and, subject to the final appeals process, we’ll also be starting a project in the coming months in Athens, Greece.
“So we’re very, very excited about where the business is, and from a longer term perspective, with geographical diversification we’ll be able to withstand these types of things even more.”
The US$1.6 billion phase one development of Inspire Korea is due to open in June 2022 and will feature 150 gaming tables, 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 on 1.7 million square meters of land near Incheon Airport.