American casino operators facing coronavirus-induced delays in South Korea

American casino operators Caesars Entertainment Incorporated and Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment are reportedly facing delays in securing enough financing to complete construction of ambitious gambling-friendly developments in South Korea.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming citing multiple local news outlets, the pair are said to be blaming their inability to attract sufficient fresh backing on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ‘disagreements’ with existing partners over the repayment of outstanding debts.

Consolidation catches:

Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment Incorporated was reportedly forced to pause work on its $700 million Caesars Korea development from February 11 as concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic rose. The future of the project for the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) was later purportedly complicated by the $17.3 billion merger of Caesars Entertainment Corporation with smaller rival Eldorado Resorts Incorporated to create the new-look Caesars Entertainment Incorporated.

Independent interest:

Tom Reeg, Chief Executive Offic 7BALL CC er for the now enlarged enterprise, reportedly declared in June of last year that any international expansion for the operator would ‘have to be stupendous for us to be running in that direction.’ The source explained that the very next month saw Caesars Entertainment Corporation announce that it was only prepared to invest a further $60 million in completing work on the Yeongjong Island scheme after previously endowing it with approximately $80 million and expected the remaining funds to come from outside sources.

Ambitious aim:

For its part and Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment had initially been intending to open the first phase of its $1.6 billion Inspire Korea integrated casino resort by the end of the upcoming first quarter but has reportedly been hit by the same coronavirus-induced stoppages as the nearby Caesars Korea development. The entity of the United States’ federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe is now purportedly hoping to begin welcoming guests to the 1,250-room project by the end of 2022 with its Chief Executive Officer, Mario Kontomerkos, recently pronouncing that his firm remains fully committed to the endeavor.

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Reportedly read a statement from Kontomerkos…

“The pandemic has shown us that diversification into the international arena is important for our ability to stand for those generations and so the project in South Korea remains on track for launch in 2022.”