By Michael Norton
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Boxed around in the Massachusetts casino sweepstakes, Mohegan Sun is looking beyond the Northeast for its next foothold in the gambling market – way beyond.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, announced plans Tuesday to partner with Mohegan Sun Pocono and Resorts Casino Hotel and Incheon International Airport Corporation to develop a hotel-casino resort as part of a “gateway entertainment city” in South Korea.
The planned resort will include the world’s first private jet terminal that connects to a casino resort, a Korean cosmetics and beauty hub, a two-tower luxury hotel complex with 1,000 rooms, an indoor-outdoor amusement park, and an entertainment venue with seating for 20,000.
In Massachusetts, Mohegan Sun was first swept out of Palmer by voters who turned down their plans for a resort casino in that town.
The tribe turned to East Boston, but were also rejected by voters there. Mohegan then found a receptive host community in Revere, but state gambling regulators opted for a rival Wynn Resorts casino proposal in nearby Everett for the sole eastern Massachusetts casino license.
In South Korea, Mohegan is eyeing the more than 45 million annual visitors to the world’s eighth largest international airport.
Under a memorandum of understanding, the tribal authority and the airport will enter into negotiations on an agreement to develop an 800-acre parcel with the goal of signing a final concept agreement by June 30, 2015.
“We look forward to extending the unique Mohegan Sun brand, focused on unparalleled hospitality and guest experience, to Korea and providing a new, global customer base at a one-of-a-kind, must-visit destination,” tribal authority president Bobby Soper said in a statement.