American tribal land-based casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has fully opened the first phase of its Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea following almost eight years of planning and construction.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is an enterprise of the federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe and began work on its inaugural venture outside of North America in the spring of 2016 after securing permission from the government of then-South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
The firm had initially planned to premiere the new 1,275-room development near Incheon International Airport in 2022 but was later forced to extend this target owing to delays associated with the coronavirus pandemic and the project’s estimated $1.6 billion budget.
The President for Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort, Chen Si, revealed his venue passed a major milestone at the end of November when it soft launched all of its non-gambling amenities. He detailed this was followed by a January 23 decision from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to award its international visitor-only Inspire Casino facility with a gambling license, which was the nation’s first for 19 years.
“I am thrilled that Mohegan Inspire Entertainment resort has successfully carried out this phase of development over the past seven years and has obtained a permit for an international visitor-only casino business license,” Chen said.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment was already responsible for the 1,563-room Mohegan Sun development in its home state of Connecticut as well as eastern Pennsylvania’s more modest Mohegan Pennsylvania Casino Resort. The operator moreover runs the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City along with the Ilani Casino Resort, which is situated some 15 miles north of Vancouver, Washington, and southern Ontario’s Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino Resort.
The firm, additionally behind the Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas explained the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort is run by its wholly-owned Inspire Integrated Resort Company Limited arm and sits on 420 acres of land adjacent to Incheon International Airport. It labelled the new development as ‘a beacon of luxury and innovation in the heart of Yeongjong Island’ and described its 215,278 sq ft foreigner-only Inspire Casino featuring 150 gaming tables, 390 slots and a 160-seat electronic table games stadium as ‘the most advanced gaming facility in the country’.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment asserted Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort’s location next to one of the busiest airports in Asia puts it well within reach of gambling fans in ‘key metropolitan cities’ such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing. The company went on to state such visitors can now furthermore enjoy shows within the property’s 15,000-seat all-purpose arena, a walk down its Aurora-branded digital entertainment street and access to meeting and conference facilities embracing the largest hotel ballroom in South Korea.
Chen contended all of this is complemented by ‘a versatile indoor water park in the form of a glass dome’, an outdoor water park offering experiences to as many as 30,000 people and ‘commercial facilities that blend shopping, dining and entertainment’.
“Since the soft opening, we have seen visitors from all over experience and enjoy memorable performances at our arena, the fantastic digital show in Aurora and the serene and luxurious escape at our three-tower hotel,” Chen said. “We will continue to play a leading role in supporting and growing the local economy while offering diverse amenities and unparalleled experiences to first-time and returning guests, international tourists, K-pop and K-culture fans and casino visitors.”
Ray Pineault serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment and declared his company plans to ‘fast-track its growth’ by progressively premiering more Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort amenities. He claimed these are to allow the new development to solidify ‘its status as a new-generation resort’ and simultaneously stimulate economic development to establish ‘new paradigms in the worldwide entertainment sector’.
“As we unveil the Inspire Casino, we’re continuing to pioneer a new era of international hospitality,” Pineault said. “This ambitious project is a testament to Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment’s commitment to excellence, marking a major milestone in our growth as a preeminent owner and developer of integrated entertainment resorts.”
Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.Read Full Bio