According to sources, the national government of Japan will delay its policy on integrated resorts by six to twelve months, Nagasaki authorities said on Monday.
National Government Defers National Policy on IR, Sources Say
Japan is determined to see the first of three integrated resorts arrive on time in 2025. However, a few hiccups have cropped up. First, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to step down, although that didn’t affect the timeline.
In 2019, high-ranking members of the government were implicated in corruption. They allegedly accepted kickbacks to facilitate Chinese company 500.com’s entry into the Integrated Resort (IR) bidding project.
Now, authorities in Nagasaki argue that Japan’s national government is considering delaying the project further. The estimated delay is between six and 12 months. The project features three integrated resorts, but only one will be built at first as a testing ground.
To launch an IR project, though, each local government and the bidding party would have to prove that, by winning the rights, they can bring prosperity and forward the economy of the selected region.
Delaying the national government’s plans and official IR development policy makes it difficult for some of these criteria to be met.
For starters, each region has to work with a private party. However, without guidance from the government, investors cannot adequately propose economic changes to the regions. The biggest issue is to develop an economic plan that turns out not to be compliant.
Nagasaki Puts RFP Process on Backburner
With this in mind, Nagasaki authorities spoke on Monday and said that based on information they had collected from multiple unnamed sources, the government would defer the policy up to one year.
Based on those rumors, Nagasaki has decided to pause its own request-for-proposal (RFP). The prefecture is effectively mothballing plans for hosting an integrated resort of its own.
However, the prefecture already has landed at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park. That makes it a viable pick for hosting an integrated resort should the government decides to back Nagasaki up.
Nagasaki has seen interest from multiple parties for an RFP process. Current Corp, Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH, and Oshidori International Holdings Ltd have all confirmed their interest in helping Nagasaki bid for the rights to host an integrated casino resort.
With some uncertainty still lingering over the exact schedule, however, some prefectures have been more reluctant. Prefectures are understandably fidgety especially now and given the short construction period.