Nagasaki Approaches the Finish Line with Its Integrated Resort Plans

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Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture is confident that it has all of the components necessary to offer an integrated resort (IR) in Japan. It is one of only a small handful of locations remaining in the hunt for the selection of the first three locations that will host a casino resort in the country. It is also the only one to have developed a number of initiatives that are helping it prove its worth. More efforts are on the way and some will be discussed at a meeting held by the Kyushu-Nagasaki International Tourism Human Resource Development Consortium at the end of this month.

Nagasaki Ready for the Future

According to Masahiko Kunihiro of Nagasaki’s Integrated Resort Promotion Division, the Consortium is set to hold its second meeting on July 31. It is designed for “stakeholders in the tourism, hospitality and education sectors,” with an emphasis on how the IR can work with the stakeholders to establish a responsible and mature gaming industry. Guest speakers involved in international hospitality and tourism will be involved, providing expert insight into how IRs and resorts can mesh with existing infrastructure to enable a stronger economy.

The Consortium is just one of several entities that are involved in Nagasaki’s IR bid. The Kyushu IR Council was specifically created to guide the prefecture’s efforts and regularly works with the Kyushu-Nagasaki IR Safety and Security Network Council (SSNC) to develop policies. The SSNC interacts with local health facilities, school PTA groups and law enforcement bodies in order to facilitate the distribution of ideas and to address concerns. Once it is created this summer, the organizations will also work with the Kyushu Regional Addiction Countermeasure Network Council.

Final Regional Projects Approach Deadlines

Despite delays caused by COVID-19, Japan’s IR efforts are moving forward and those jurisdictions interested in hosting one of the first three properties are running out of time to have their projects ready for presentation. Nagasaki, Osaka, Tokyo, Wakayama and Yokohama have been seen as the most likely final choices, but Tokyo might soon have to drop out and Yokohama is facing some issues of its own. Even if there were only three candidates to submit proposals to the government, however, there isn’t a guarantee that all three would be approved.

Kunihiro points out that Nagasaki remains proactive and committed to its IR plans. The Kyushu IR Council, which is spearheading the efforts, held its first business seminar at the beginning of last month. It was open to businesses in the area who wanted to understand the benefits and drawbacks a casino resort could bring and how they can be involved in the initiative. In addition, the SSNC held its first meeting on June 30 to emphasize how the prefecture and IR players can address addiction and safety concerns.

Nagasaki already has a good idea of how its IR development will look and who might be involved. It has narrowed down the list of potential casino partners and will make its final selection this August. From there, it will prepare its complete project for presentation to the national government, which could come as early as this October.

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