Nagasaki, Japan is confident that it has the talent and qualities to be one of the first three integrated resort (IR) hosts when the country issues its initial licenses next year. Despite its overwhelming optimism, the prefecture isn’t satisfied with idly waiting for a decision to be made and is demonstrating why it would be an ideal host. Area leaders have implemented several programs recently to draw attention to the prefecture and its IR efforts, and a meeting held last week by the Kyushu Regional Strategy Council (KRSC) helped shape those efforts even more.
Nagasaki Ready for an Integrated Resort
According to Masahiko Kunihiro, the prefecture’s public tender process is well underway. Kunihiro, a member of the Nagasaki IR Planning Department, adds that the KRSC held a virtual meeting on May 19 to discuss several of the next steps of the area’s plan to continue developing its IR program. Among these, the council’s chair, Oita Governor Katsusada Hirose, touched on the development of marketing initiatives to highlight the importance of the IR for tourism and the importance of the new Kyushu IR Council to consolidate and unify the region’s efforts.
In addition to promoting the IR for its economic and tourism benefits, the KRSC is also aware of the sensitive issue of possible gambling addiction. To that end, the council is launching its Kyushu Addiction Measures Network Council, which will work to create a collaborative effort among the prefectures to address and improve the “effective and efficient handling of various addiction issues within the region.” That council will hold its first meeting later this summer.
Additional IR-supporting Initiatives Underway
In addition to the creation of the IR Council and the addiction awareness council, a new Kyushu-Nagasaki International Tourism Human Resource Development Consortium has been created. It held its first meeting on April 23 and was developed to create a “long-term framework” for issues related to human resources and international tourism. The consortium is currently operating as an ad-hoc group, but will become official once Nagasaki has been confirmed as an IR host prefecture.
The Kyushu IR Council has created an event for regional businesses to get involved in the IR space. It is going to hold a seminar online on June 4 that will give businesses a chance to “learn and prepare for business opportunities and tourism promotion” related to the IR. Additional details of the event are still pending, but the seminar is expected to see participation from key individuals with experience in the gaming industry.
There are now just three candidates remaining in the competition to operate a casino in Nagasaki. Casinos Austria, NIKI Group, and Oshidori International, together with Mohegan Gaming, made the cut after the prefecture’s initial screening in March and are now preparing their fine-tuned proposals, which will be delivered next month. In August, the final decision is expected to be made.