Nagasaki prefecture has announced it is seeking for a casino resort partner to invest up to $5 billion in its IR project.
Nagasaki Competes for an IR License with 8 More Locations
Several cities have officially announced their intention to win the license for developing one of the three Japanese integrated resorts (IRs) – a large-scale project combining multiple facilities, such as hotels, conference rooms, stores, meeting spaces and casinos – as a part of the first stage of the Japanese gambling market liberalization.
According to different sources at this phase, there would be two big resorts in big cities, while a third resort would be built in a smaller regional town.
According to a statement of Japan’s government, eight locations have already applied for one of the three licenses although it will take as long as two years for the licenses to be officially issued.
One of the most recent participants in the competition for developing one of the IRs is Nagasaki. The prefecture has suggested a project for a future casino resort at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city located in the region of Kyushu.
Kitakyushu’s mayor Kenji Kitahashi explained that the local council has already contacted three companies interested in the Nagasaki IR project.
4 Entities Officially Interested in Nagasaki’s IR
In fact, after Nagasaki launched the request-for-concept (RFC) procedure back in October several gambling operators expressed their interest in the prefecture’s casino project, including a few local investors.
However, later some of the companies pulled out their applications leaving four entities that officially continue their participation in the process after the process’s deadline which was 22nd November.
One of the four companies has chosen to remain anonymous at this stage while the names of the others have already been publicly announced. Here they are:
- Current Corp
- Casinos Austria International Japan Inc
- Oshidori International Development Ltd.
Nevertheless, local officials claim that:
“The Nagasaki Prefecture and Sasebo City Joint Council for the Promotion of Integrated Resort was able to communicate with a larger number of operators during the process.”
They also explained that the [Joint] Council will continue the process of selection of the IR operator in conjunction with regulatory updates from the national government.
It is also important to note that contenders not participating in the RFC stage will be able to do that in the request-for-proposal phase (RFP).
Nagasaki IR’s Budget Half of What Was Expected
The budget for an IR between set by the local government is between 320billion yen or $3 billion and 550 billion yen estimated at $5.1 billion dollars. This is much below the initially suggested cost of the IR project of $10 billion in April 2018 according to media reports at the time.
However, the set budget could increase as well if there are long delays before the licenses are officially approved.
And while the Nagasaki IR’s exact budget is not clear yet, Japan’s National Government announced that $24 million from f the country’s next year’s budget are going to be spent to set up a casino management commission, and $35 million to cover its expenses.