Nagasaki to start casino RFP January 7, says governor

Nagasaki to start casino RFP January 7, says governor

Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture will start on January 7 its request-for-proposal (RFP) process regarding the possibility of getting a casino resort there, says governor Hodo Nakamura (pictured in a file photo).

He made the comment at a regular media briefing on Friday, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.

In early December, the prefecture had confirmed to GGRAsia that it was communicating with casino operators not previously in the direct orbit of the metropolis, with a view to possibly boosting the number of contenders for the local government’s tilt at an integrated resort (IR), as such schemes are known in Japan.

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

In Friday’s briefing, the governor mentioned the timetable for Nagasaki’s effort. Local governments must select a private-sector partner, and then apply to the national government for the right to host one.

A December 18 announcement by the country’s government – the same day it confirmed the national basic policy on IRs – reiterated the central authorities would start accepting local-government submissions for the right to host a resort, from October 1, 2021, with a closing date of April 28, 2022, i.e., about a nine-month delay from a previously-announced timetable.

Mindful of the new national-level timetable, Nagasaki’s latest IR schedule will be as follows: summer to autumn, 2021, selection of an IR operator and then conclusion of the IR foundation agreement between the prefecture and the selected firm.

After that, from summer 2021 to the start of winter that year, will be the establishment of a local IR development plan.

Then in spring 2022, will come resolution of the IR development plan by both the prefectural government and Sasebo city council, a local authority within the prefecture that is the proposed location for a Nagasaki IR. Soon after that, the prefecture would submit its plan to the national government.

Nagasaki then anticipates that in 2023 – assuming national-government approval –would come the formalisation of the IR implementation agreement between the prefecture and the IR operator, in order to start the construction process. Then, in the “mid- or late-2020s,” would come the opening of a Nagasaki IR.

The governing Liberal Democratic Party said days before the confirmation of Japan’s national basic policy on casino resorts, that it foresaw any Japanese IRs opening only in the “late 2020s”, due to factors including time needed for environmental assessment, and for construction.

Up to three such venues will be permitted in that nation in a first phase of liberalisation.

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