Three foreign ops join mix for Nagasaki IR tilt: report

Three foreign ops join mix for Nagasaki IR tilt: report

The Nagasaki Shimbun newspaper has reported that “at least three” foreign casino resort operators, described as “mid-sized”, have expressed interest in taking part in the Japanese prefecture Nagasaki’s tilt at having such a facility. Two are said to be based in the United States and one in Asia, according to the report.

GGRAsia approached the prefecture seeking comment on the report, but an official said in a Tuesday email that the authority did not wish to do so.

Three other contenders that declared interest in Nagasaki 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 November, Tokyo-listed Pixel Companyz Inc said a consortium it leads would focus on Nagasaki prefecture in its pursuit of a Japan casino licence.

Nagasaki is due to start on Thursday (January 7) its request-for-proposal (RFP) process on the possibility of getting a casino resort – known in Japan as an integrated resort (IR) – said governor Hodo Nakamura at a regular media briefing in late December.

Nagasaki’s preferred site for a resort is on land at Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in Sasebo city (pictured), within the prefecture.

The national authorities will make the final decision on any local government applications. Up to three such facilities will be permitted nationally in a first phase of market liberalisation.

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.

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