Featured in this article:
  • Athens casino project to still go ahead
  • Mohegan offload casino stake onto GEK Terna
  • Inspire Korea casino plans ongoing

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Mohegan won't lead the Athens casino project but are pushing ahead of Inspire Korea

American casino giant Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) has backed away from a billion-dollar casino investment in the Greek capital Athens – but still has aspirations to invest in foreign gambling resorts.

MGE had been planning to join the new $9bn redevelopment of the former Hellinikon airport and had teamed up with minority investor GEK Terna on the project. Based to the sound of the city, the casino is a 35 minute cab ride from the Acropolis.

Having been granted a casino operating licence in October 2020 by the Hellenic Gaming Commission, it was expected that MGE would begin its construction of the new casino. The original plans for the casino included:

  • A luxury hotel
  • Premier entertainment venues
  • Convention center
  • Casino
  • Shopping zone
  • Multiple dining establishments

The design for the casino had even beed released and featured the sculptured female figures of the Parthenon, known as the the Caryatids.

But now MGE have chosen to withdraw its interest in the project. In a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, MGE confirmed it has transferred its equity ownership to GEK Terna. However, it remains a consultant to the Inspire Athens project and, according to the Greek City Times, will offer “its expertise as its contractual commitments mandate”.

Why the company decided to pull out of an investor stake in the Athens casino was explained in a statement that also address another international project MGE is involved in.

“MGE has conducted a comprehensive review of its operations and future commitments against the new backdrop created by the COVID-19 global pandemic and concluded that we would not continue to pursue the concession rights for the Athens Project,” the statement read.

“We are also focused on the large undertaking at Inspire Korea, which will consume the next few years. While we know this is a disappointment to many, it is the right decision for our company and its stakeholders.”

What Next For Mohegan?

As the statement indicates, MGE may be withdrawing from Greece but it is still set on pumping dollars into South Korea. Back in 2016 the company won a big to hold a licence in South Korea and has since gone about creating an “integrated resort” at Incheon International Airport.

The project is still to be completed and MGE had had to delay its 2022 grand opening. Inspire Korea will include:

  • An expansive casino
  • Three-tower luxury hotel
  • 1,300 rooms
  • 20,000 square meters shopping complex
  • Korean cosmetics and beauty hub
  • 15,000-capacity entertainment zone

MGE president Ray Pineault recently explained that the company was negotiating the final round of financing for the Incheon resort, and that financial stability was of top priority in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. All being well, Inspire Korea should open its doors in the fall of 2023.

MGE owns a range of casinos in the US, including the Connecticut Sun, Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Vegas.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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