Mohegan Gaming Faces Delay to South Korea’s Inspire Casino Resort Due to Covid-19

Inspire Entertainment Resort at Incheon, South Korea, is suffering due to Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit the global casino industry and has halted the construction of the Midan City resort, backed by Caesars and Inspire Resort.

Mohegan Postpones Phase 1 of Inspire Project to 2023

US tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment said that the opening of its South Korea casino resort Inspire will be postponed to “early 2023”. The first phase of the project was due to be completed in 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the construction process.

The first stage is valued at about $1 billion and includes the building of a five-star hotel with over 1,250 luxurious rooms, a big arena for sports events and concerts, as well as a 20,000 square-meter casino with 700 slot machines and 150 gaming tables. The operator said:

“The partnership with Incheon Airport provides unique support and competitiveness with 70 million annual visitors.”

The company informed the public about the delay in its fourth quarter fiscal 2020 report, which was released on December 22. The unique $5 billion resort is set open at Incheon International Airport in South Korea, a strategic location approximately one hour away from the heart of Seoul.

Inspire Struggles to Back Capital Support

Back in October, South Korean news sources reported that the Midan City resort, which includes the Inspire project, is facing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Taking into account the negative consequences of Covid-19 on the casino industry and no end of the crisis in sight, it is becoming more difficult to attract fresh capital into an unfinished project.

However, CEO Mario Kontomerkos assured that the group “remains committed” to Inspire Incheon and added that diversification of activity during the current difficult situation is of utmost importance.

Inspire will be Korea and Northeast Asia’s first true Integrated Entertainment Resort and the first destination resort in the world with its own private air terminal. The resort will attract both domestic and foreign visitors, the company adds.

Covid-19 Continues to Affect Financial Performance in Q4

In the quarter ended September 30, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment posted net revenues of US$294 million, down 29 percent from US$414 million year-over-year.

Adjusted Ebitda suffered a 7.4 percent decline from US$89.4 million to US$82.8 million. The decrease in Adjusted Ebitda was mostly due to the impact of certain nonrecurring payroll and consulting credits in 2019, the company said.

MGE Niagara Resorts remains closed due to Covid-19 restrictions and reports 73 percent year-on-year decline in Ebitda margin in Q4. iGaming and Unibet Sportsbook in Mohegan Sun Pocono continue to perform well and boost gaming revenues affected by Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

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