Mohegan Inspire Casino Resort in South Korea Set for Opening
Mohegan, the casino gaming arm of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, has announced the opening date for its long-awaited $1.6-billion casino resort in Incheon, South Korea.
The soft launch for the Mohegan Inspire resort, located near Incheon International Airport, is set for November 30. This marks a significant milestone in the Mohegan Tribe’s global expansion and South Korea’s burgeoning resort sector.
The Mohegan Tribe first announced the project in 2016, meaning Mohegan Inspire is set to open just shy of eight years after being granted a license.
Mohegan Inspire is a huge project, with more than 1,000 hotel rooms, performance spaces, art pieces, a mall, and a laundry list of other features. In an interesting twist on casino gambling law, Inspire’s casino gaming will be limited to nonresidents of Korea.
“This is a momentous occasion for Mohegan, marking a historic partnership for our Tribe and a new echelon for our system of premier integrated entertainment resorts around the world,” said James Gessner Jr., chairman of the Mohegan Tribe and the Mohegan Management Board.
“We have been honored to work closely with the Korean government to make this day possible, and we look forward to Inspire contributing to the local and regional economies by creating local jobs, bringing visitors to enjoy the Incheon region, and attracting new businesses both on and adjacent to the property.”
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Impressive Specifications, But No Casino on Launch
The resort, spanning a vast area of 461,661 square meters, represents an investment of approximately 1.53 billion from Mohegan.
The full operation of Mohegan Inspire will debut in phases, with complete functionality expected in the first half of 2024.
This first phase will see the unveiling of three hotel towers with a total of 1,275 rooms, a 15,000-seater concert and sports arena, the largest ballroom in Korea, an array of restaurants, and a digital entertainment street named Aurora. It does not include the casino, which is set to open in the second phase next year.
The resort will also feature ten restaurants, including Michael Jordan’s Steak House, which will all be open on launch day.
The soft launch is a prelude to the debut of further facilities in two phases next year. That will include the Inspire Mall of luxury brand outlets with Wonder-themed art installations, and the foreigner exclusive casino.
Subsequent quarters will see the opening of Discovery Park, an outdoor entertainment facility, and additional attractions.
Casino Plans Detailed
The Mohegan Inspire casino will be an exclusive domain for noncitizens, in line with Korean law.
This gaming floor, sprawling over 200,000 square feet, will house approximately 1,500 slot machines and 250 table games. In contrast to the U.S., where slots typically dominate the casino floors, Inspire’s casino will feature a predominance of table games, with baccarat being a popular choice among Asian gamblers.
In September, Mohegan appointed Chen Si, previously of U.S-based Las Vegas Sands, as president of the Mohegan Inspire project.
He also spoke on the news, expressing his thanks to everyone involved in the years of work that has gone on leading up to this launch.
“I would like to express a sincere gratitude to the Korean government, municipalities, local communities, and our team members for their support and collaboration on this project,” Si said.
“As we grow with the community, we will establish ourselves as an ultimate entertainment destination that attracts visitors from around the world, filled with inspiration and innovation.”
When the resort opens, the Mohegan Tribe will join The Seminole Tribe of Florida as the only U.S. tribal casino operators with gambling venues outside the country. The Seminoles operate Hard Rock Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
In the U.S., the Mohegan Tribe operates its flagship Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, as well casinos in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. It also operates among the famous Nevada casinos in Las Vegas with its Mohegan Las Vegas venue.