December 2, 2019 3 min read


Four Companies Bid for Nagasaki IR, Hokkaido Pulls Out of Race

Nagasaki prefecture has revealed the names of three out of four entities applying to participate in an integrated resort request-for-concept process.

Nagasaki Receives Four Applicants for RFC Bidding

The Japanese prefecture of Nagasaki announced that four entities had applied for its request-for-concept (RFC) call for proposals as of Friday, November 29. This comes shortly after the Japan’s National Diet approved the government’s nominees for the Casino Management Commission (CMC).

Nagasaki is planning to build a casino resort at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city, should the prefecture receive green light by the national government, which will have a final say in the matter and select the region for the first Integrated Resort (IR) project.

The Integrated Resorts are multi-purpose facilities, offering visitors access to hotels, meeting spaces, shopping and entertainment areas, and now – casinos. Presently, four companies have applied for a license, specifically:

  • Current Corp
  • Casinos Austria International Japan Inc
  • Oshidori International Development Ltd.

A fourth entity has asked for anonymity in the matter for the time being. Meanwhile, the Nagasaki Prefecture and Sasebo City Joint Council have also been keeping in touch with potential operators.

To move forward, any of the applicants will need to submit an RFC bid by January 10, 2020, which will then be reviewed and discussed by local government officials. However, these local preparations

The national government will not begin accepting and processing local bids by prefectures until January 4, 2021, giving sufficient time to interested regions to prepare for the upcoming bidding war.

Meanwhile, the field of competitors has been trimmed, with Hokkaido withdrawing from the bidding process.

Hokkaido Drops Out of the Integrated Resort Race

Apart from reaffirming Nagasaki’s commitment to the IR project, Friday also saw Hokkaido prefecture drop out of the race, at least for the time being. Mayor Naomichi Suzuki expressed concern that the competition has been intensifying quickly.

Suzuki explained that despite the strong support for the project, there have been factors that made it possible to proceed for a first IR application. He specifically mentioned environmental considerations as part of the final decision.

With Hokkaido out of the race Osaka has issued a reaffirmation of the prefecture’s commitment to developing an IR. Prefecture mayor Ichiro Matsui said that Hokkaido’s decision wouldn’t affect Osaka.

Other places are also considering to apply for an Integrated Resort, including Tokyo, Chiba, Nagoya, although no formal process has begun.

Let’s Not Tax the Foreigners

Reported by the Japan Times, the government may now be considering a move whereby non-resident foreign visitors to the IR won’t have to pay tax on their winnings. According to people close to the matter, collecting tax after a person has left the country would be difficult, so an alternative must be found.

A withholding tax system at winnings will be put in place instead. The tax will target the difference between the value of a patron’s chips and the amount converted back into cash. The measures are expected to become part of the tax reforms in 2020.  


As an avid follower of sports and the newly recognized industry of esports, Heidi uses her expertise to help the team push out the best sports content. She is also continually learning more about the gambling industry in general and pushes out a variety of content.

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