Five operators pitch for Nagasaki integrated resort

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Wakayama closes in on naming preferred integrated resort operator

Nagasaki’s quest to host one of Japan’s three integrated resort casinos has taken another step, with five groups submitting documents in a move to qualify for the project.

GGR Asia reports that an announcement by the prefectural integrated resort promotion division announced that five parties were interested in casino operations in Nagasaki, but the entities involved weren’t named.

Hodo Nakamura, Nagasaki prefecture’s governor, said they were drawn from Europe, the United States and Asia.

The Japanese local government authority would like to create a casino resort on land at Sasebo city.

Under the timetable mentioned at the start of January, it is anticipated that in March, Nagasaki will announce the result of a “first round selection”, narrowing to three, the number of private-sector would-be partners for an integrated resort scheme.

Nagasaki’s integrated resort promotion division reiterated on Friday that in May, Nagasaki planned a “probity test” on the entities on its IR-partner shortlist.

August would see project presentations, and thereafter, selection of an integrated resort operator by the prefectural government.

Japanese local governments interested in having a casino resort complex must first find a private sector partner, then apply to the national government to host one.

A December 18 announcement by Japan’s government, the same day it confirmed the national basic policy on integrated resorts, reiterated that the central authorities would start accepting local government submissions from October 1, 2021, with a closing date of April 28, 2022.

By “springtime” 2022, there will be a resolution on Nagasaki’s casino resort scheme by the prefectural government and Sasebo City Council, before their submission to the national government, according to the prefecture’s schedule.

A national assessment process for Japan’s casino resort scheme will take place during “autumn to winter” of 2022, the timetable stated.

Were Nagasaki to receive approval, 2023 would see the conclusion of the integrated resort implementation between Nagasaki prefecture and the integrated resort operation, in order to start construction.

The opening of any Nagasaki scheme should take place during the “latter half of the 2020s”, the local government’s rundown stated.

Nagasaki looking to widen casino bidding process

A Japanese prefecture is looking to boost the number of contenders for its upcoming casino process.

GGR Asia reported in December that authorities in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture are communicating with casino operators not previously in the direct orbit of the metropolis.

“We cannot comment about where the operators are from, but Nagasaki prefecture is open to continuing discussions with interested operators from Japan and overseas until we begin our public tender,” the official said.

In Japan, three integrated resorts will be permitted nationally in a first phase of market liberalisation.

On Thursday, the Nagasaki Shimbun newspaper had reported comments by Nagasaki’s IR promotion division director Takeshi Komiya, hinting at fresh private-sector interest to add to three long-standing contenders and one more recent suitor.

“There is a possibility that other operators may also take part in the public tender,” he said.

“We are continuing to communicate with operators in order to have as many applications as we can,” Mr Komiya was quoted as saying.

Three contenders that declared interest prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and recently respectively reaffirmed it, are Japan’s Current Corp; a Japan unit of Casinos Austria International Holdings GmbH; and Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings.

Tokyo-listed Pixel Company said in November that the consortium it leads would focus on Nagasaki in its pursuit of a Japan casino licence.

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