1st foreigners-only casino in 19 yrs to open in S. Korea

U.S.-based integrated resort company Mohegan said Friday it will open a foreigners-only casino, the first of its kind in almost two decades in South Korea, on Saturday as part of its large-scale entertainment resort set to fully open in mid-2024. Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort, wholly owned by Mohegan, obtained its license for the casino business from the Korean government last month after investing US$1.6 billion in the first-phase development project, the company said in a statement. The first license was given to Grand Korea Leisure's casino facility in January 2006, according to the Korea Casino Association. "This ambitious project is a testament to Mohegan's commitment to excellence, marking a major milestone in our growth as a preeminent owner and developer of integrated entertainment resorts," Mohegan Chief Executive Ray Pineault said. Following the grand opening on Saturday, the company plans to fast-track its growth by progressively opening the remainder of the resort facilities by the mi ddle of this year, the statement said. Strategically located near Incheon International Airport in Incheon, just west of Seoul, the resort is expected to benefit from the prime location that is not only adjacent to one of Asia's major air travel hubs but also within a four-hour flight distance from key Asian cities, including Tokyo, Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The resort is the country's biggest gambling house with 150 gaming tables, 390 slot machines, and a 160-seat electronic table games (ETG) stadium across two floors. South Korea has 16 foreigners-only casinos across the country and Kangwon Land Casino, the only casino that allows the admission of Koreans as well. Source: Yonhap News Agency