Incheon casino project gathers momentum 

by Noah Taylor Last Updated
Incheon casino project gathers momentum 

An additional US$200 million will be invested in the Inspire Korea integrated resort project following confirmation from the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority that Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has authorised the funds.

Asgam reports that the injection of funds will help Inspire Korea “break through the COVID-19 crisis earlier,” enabling it to get construction back on schedule.

It also boosts Mohegan’s contribution, which had previously been capped at US$300 million.

The company said last year that the remainder of the US$1.6 billion construction cost would include US$900 million from a consortium of Korean institutions, US$200 million worth of infrastructure and improvements by Incheon International Airport and US$200 million via loans.

When complete, Phase 1 of Inspire Korea, sitting on land covering almost 4.4 million square metres near Incheon International Airport, will cover 1.6 million sqm and include 150 gaming tables, 700 electronic gaming machines, a 15,000 seat arena, an indoor climate-controlled dome with pool and rides, dining and retail, a 19,000sqm conference and convention space and 1250 hotel rooms.

The IFEZ stated in its update that this latest injection of funds was made possible after the IFEZ and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy were able to provide exemptions from a two-week mandatory self-quarantine period for investors.

“I am grateful for Inspire IR making such a bold decision,” said IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae.

“It’s a great gift to IFEZ Entertainment World, especially in such a time that the entire tourism industry is suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. I have no doubt it will create a new vibe for other projects such as Paradise City and Caesars Korea.

“We, IFEZ, have been supporting Inspire IR and will continuously support its regulatory needs and with anything we can help. As Commissioner, I promise to do my best to make IFEZ Entertainment World become the most popular tourism destination in Northeast Asia.”

Inspire Korea is due to open in 2022.

South Korean casino closes after virus outbreak

A Korean casino operator said the venue remains closed after six employees tested positive to COVID-19 last week. 

Asgam reported in September that the foreigner-only Paradise City said all gaming facilities at the integrated resort in Incheon will remain closed.

A joint venture project between Paradise Co and Japan’s Sega Sammy Holdings, the venue was initially closed for three days from September 1 after one staff member tested positive.

That cluster has now grown to at least six resort staff, including two casino workers, local media reports.

Paradise City said on its website it had “decided to close the entire facility…as a high-intensity measure for the safety of customers, employees and local communities.” 

The entire resort will remain closed until 1pm, Wednesday, 9 September with the casino to stay closed “indefinitely”, it added.

“During the suspension period, we will do our best to prevent the spread of infection by expanding the scope of inspections as well as conducting thorough disinfection and precise quarantine for the entire facility, including the relevant business site in close consultation with the quarantine authorities,” the company said.

Paradise Co previously called all four of its Korean casinos – Paradise City, Paradise Walkerhill, Busan Casino and Jeju Grant – on March 23, following the outbreak of COVID-19, before reopening Jeju Grand on April 13 and the remaining three on April 20.

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