“The new Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea, which opened Thursday for non-game facilities including 1,275 hotels and 15,000-seat Inspire Arena, is still hoping to open a foreigner-only casino in the first quarter of next year,” Chen Si, the real estate president, told GGRAsia.

INSPIRE (PHOTOS) – “Phase 1a” capital expenditure will reach $2.5 trillion (roughly $1.5 trillion), offering 150 table games and 700 machines, slots and electronic table games (ETGs).

Regarding expectations for quarterly gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first few quarters after the casino’s opening, Si said, “We have an internal budget, but it’s private. We don’t expect it to expand fully until 2024 or beyond, as it takes four to six quarters.”

The Mohegan Tribe Gaming Authority, a resort promoter traded as Mohegan Gaming, hopes to open the casino within “two to three months” after the non-playing soft launch, management said. The city’s chairman reiterated that the complex can only apply for a gaming permit once it has earned a five-star rating for the Inspire Hotel. The process follows the provisions of South Korea’s Tourism Promotion Act, and its enforcement is overseen by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

After Thursday’s non-game opening, Si explained, “It takes a series of inspections, mystery shoppers, and evaluations. That’s why it takes time to open a casino.”

He pointed out that when Paradise City, a casino resort in the nearby Incheon area of Inspire, opened in 2017 with the immediate activation of foreigner-only casinos, it was “a different case because we transferred our casino license from other local casinos… We are applying for a new casino license.”

Even before Inspire’s casinos opened, “dealer-level employees started coming in from Korea mostly from next week to January and February next year,” Si said.

Inspire will also invite Mohegan company employees and leaders from its U.S. headquarters to initially support the game’s operations, but not a permanent post.

Inspire has hired 1,113 employees so far, and will secure 3,000 when it completes what the promoter calls “phase 1a” in Q2 2024.

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