Mohegan Gaming completes financing for first phase of South Korea project
Inspire project is slated to have casino, three hotels, 15,000-seat arena
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the owner of the Mohegan Tribe’s gaming assets, is off to the races in South Korea.
MGE lined up the last of $1.55 billion in financing for the first phase of an ambitious entertainment project at the nation’s primary international airport, according to The Day newspaper. The company is contributing $300 million, while Bain Capital and MBK Partners raised $275 million and three Korean banks and a handful of other financiers are lending MGE $890 million.
General contractor Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp. put $85.5 million into the project and guaranteed completion.
The first phase of the Inspire project will include three hotel towers, a 15,000-seat arena, a casino for foreigners only, Seoul’s largest convention center, retailers, a so-called indoor water dome and outdoor space, according to The Day. Hanwha Hotel and Resort Co. is a hotel sponsor.
The project is under construction next to the Incheon International Airport on Incheon Island and is about 12 percent completed.
MGE projects it can open the complex by 2023, a year later than it previously expected. The South Korean government awarded MGE a license for the project in 2016.
MGE’s best known property is the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. It operates five other casinos, including the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, the Mohegan Sun Pocono outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and ilani in La Center in Washington state. The Mohegan Tribe also owns the Connecticut Sun WNBA basketball team.
While the pandemic hit the gambling industry hard, companies are still buying casinos. Blackstone Group sold the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegasin September for $5.6 billion, more than three times what it paid for seven years ago.
Vici Properties bought MGM Growth Properties for $17 billion this summer. Bally’s expanded into Las Vegas this spring with the $150 million purchase of the Tropicana Hotel & Casino.
[The Day] — Dennis Lynch