Hanwha Corporation named as Mohegan’s new Korean contractor as IR development pushes ahead

US tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s first Asian integrated resort project is back on track with the company revealing Korea’s Hanwha Corporation as its new development partner for Inspire Korea near Incheon.

The US$1.6 billion phase one development, due to open in June 2022, had previously slowed after Mohegan parted ways with its original developer. The company also faced challenges in acquiring the final piece of funding to push ahead with the project, however in its quarterly earnings release on Thursday said that Inspire Korea is “under construction and remains on track for a 2022 opening.

“In connection with Inspire, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Hanwha Corporation, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, who will serve as our primary general contractor and will also provide the project with important local operational expertise and credit enhancement,” Mohegan revealed.

Investment in Inspire Korea includes a US$300 million cash portion from Mohegan itself, US$900 million from a consortium of “blue chip” Korean institutions, US$200 million worth of infrastructure and improvements by Incheon International Airport Corp and another US$200 million via loans. US$100 million is now set to be invested by Hanwha Corporation, Mohegan said overnight, while the new Korean partners will also manage non-gaming operations property-wide.

Situated on land covering 1.7 million square meters near Incheon Airport, Phase 1 of Inspire will boast 150 gaming tables and 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.

Mohegan on Thursday announced a 19.2% increase in net revenues for the three months ended 30 September 2019 due to the recent addition of gaming operations at Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara to its portfolio, however income fell 77.4% to US$15.7 million and Adjusted EBITDA by 5.4% to US$89.4 as a result of an impairment charge and lower gaming volumes at both Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Sun Pocono.

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