Nagasaki Sets Autumn 2021 Deadline for Private Partner Selection

Officials in Nagasaki prefecture announced Wednesday the restart of the request-for-proposal (RFP) regarding the selection of a private sector partner to participate with the local government in the national race for an integrated casino resort (IR). According to the new timetable released, the RFP which was put on the backburner in September will resume in January 2021.

Revised IR Implementation Policy Consultation

The new RFP timetable was released as part of a public consultation period Nagasaki officials launched Wednesday, to collect public opinions regarding the prefecture’s revised IR implementation policy. The revised draft included guidelines related to safeguards against gambling addiction and gambling harm protection for young people, as well as measures aimed at mitigating risks of spreading infectious diseases inside casinos.

According to the new timetable, the process of selecting a private-sector partner should complete between the summer and autumn in 2021. Nagasaki expects to have established an IR development plan, in collaboration with the private company, by the winter of 2021 at the latest, to be able to submit its proposal to the national government in the spring of 2022.

In April, the local government published its Kyushi- Nagasaki IR Basic Concept in which it explained in details the basic tenets of the IR project, including its potential and goals, what facilities should be built and how they are expected to function, as well as measures to address concerns related to gambling addiction.

IR Location Presents Huge Potential

Nagasaki selected to develop an integrated casino resort in the area nearby the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, on 31 hectares of land, strategically located to attract foreign visitors in addition to the local ones. Within a 1,500 km radius of the place, there is a population of 1 billion people which presents huge potential for the project and would lure the eventual private sector partner.

In September, Nagasaki prefecture made an announcement that based on information from multiple sources, the national government was set to delay the IR project, for a period between 6 months to 1 year, and, accordingly, Nagasaki decided to halt indefinitely its RFP process for the selection of a private-sector partner.

By that time, there was confirmed interest for the Nagasaki IR tilt from 3 major private sector companies, Japan’s Current Corp, a local unit of Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH, as well as Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings Ltd, and now a fourth candidate appeared, a consortium led by Tokyo-listed Pixel Companyz Inc.

Prior to the new RFP timetable released in Nagasaki, the national government delayed the application period for local governments which is now set to start in October 2021 and end in April 28, 2022. With the new timetable and if its challenge for one of the three available IR spots is successful, Nagasaki expects to have the casino resort operational in the second half of the decade.

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