Mohegan Sun envisions US$750 million from Korea business

Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) says it is targeting approximately $750 million in fees for its partnership in the casino resort at Incheon, according to reports.

The tribal casino operator in February, along with KCC Corp. won the bid to build the integrated resort project on Yeongjong Island.

Last week, at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Leveraged Finance Conference, the operator confirmed that it will invest $100 million for 50 percent of the project’s equity, and will receive a development fee during construction of approximately $45 million. This would be followed by a 24 year management contract worth approximately $30 million per year plus 3 percent of all revenues.

Mohegan’s bid with KCC envisions a KRW1.5 trillion (US$1.2 billion) facility called “Inspire Integrated Resort”, to open in early 2020. The development will break ground in 2017 and include a casino, luxury hotel, shopping areas, an entertainment arena and convention venues on the island to be completed by 2019.

While offering non-gaming facilities has become the mantra for many operators across Asia since the collapse of China’s VIP market two years ago, Inspire’s plans for an integrated entertainment and leisure complex may come closest to delivering the vision.

In an interview with AGB in November, MTGA CEO Bobby Soper says 97 percent of the resort will be occupied by non-gaming facilities.

“Our business model contemplates that Inspire will generate more non-gaming revenue than gaming revenue which is quite unusual for most gaming resorts outside of Las Vegas.”

The resort will contain 1,350 hotel rooms in a 6-Star and 5-Star hotel complex and spa; nearly 200,000 sq. ft. of convention and meeting space; more than 300,000 sq. ft. of retail dining and nightlife options, as well as historical centers that pay tribute to the Native American and Korean culture.

In terms of the gaming offering, Inspire’s foreigners-only casino will feature 250 table games and up to 1,500 slot machines. It will also have private Air Terminal access at the adjacent Incheon Airport to service high rollers. However, the resort will be targeted primarily at the mass and premium mass sectors of the market.