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Mohegan Gaming's Mohegan Inspire in South Korea Receives Casino License

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The Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in Incheon, South Korea, has received approval for a casino license, according to a statement from the country's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism on Wednesday. The five-star hotel, operated by the US-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, trading as Mohegan Gaming, had previously obtained its hotel rating from the Korea Tourism Association earlier this month, a prerequisite for casino operations.

Mohegan Inspire Gaming Closer to Launch

The approval for Mohegan Inspire's gaming license was confirmed by the ministry on Tuesday after a meeting held on January 19. It was determined that the resort had satisfied all legal requirements for gaming licensing and had finalized the design of the resort complex, aligning with the initial presentation during the gaming license application process. A crucial condition attached to the license mandates that Inspire continues to invest in non-casino facilities, including entertainment options.

Related: Mohegan Announces Soft Launch Date in South Korea

This development signifies the establishment of the 18th licensed casino in South Korea. Currently, there are 16 foreigner-only casinos, and Kangwon Land Casino is the sole venue permitted to cater to local players.

The ministry emphasized in its statement that Mohegan Inspire's casino license is the first to be issued since 2005. Although other venues like Paradise City at Incheon and Jeju Dream Tower have opened in the intervening years, they were able to leverage licenses transferred from discontinued venues.

Mohegan Inspire, strategically located near Incheon International Airport, unveiled its first-phase non-gaming facilities on November 30. This phase included 1,275 hotel rooms, 10 restaurants and a 15,000-seat arena. The coveted five-star hotel rating was officially conferred on January 3. Additionally, the resort introduced 'Michael Jordan's Steak House' in December, marking the first instance outside the US to carry such a renowned branding.

Five-Star Rating

Mohegan Inspire also secured a five-star hotel rating just over a month after the launch of its non-gaming facilities. The Korea Tourism Association, responsible for assigning hotel ratings, officially granted Mohegan Inspire's hotel facilities a prestigious five-star rating, valid until January 2, 2027, as stated on the association's website.

The association clarified that the typical timeframe for hotel grading is up to 90 days, while the casino permit process takes up to 60 days. The strategic approach was to submit both applications simultaneously, rather than consecutively, giving the project promoter the flexibility to notify officials of both applications concurrently.

With the five-star rating and casino license in place, Mohegan Inspire is closer to being 100% operational. If it is able to adhere to its latest timeline, the casino could open its doors sometime in early February.

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