Wakayama, Nagasaki Prepare for Hosting Integrated Resorts

Wakayama is on the verge of buying private land worth $70 million to host a future Integrated Resort. Meanwhile, Nagasaki is already teaming up with companies willing to invest in the project.

Integrated Resorts on Their Way to Becoming Official in Early 2020

Within the first stage of the liberalization of Japan’s casino market, the Land of the Rising Sun’s national government is aiming to attract big companies able to develop up to three large scale Japanese-style integrated resorts for casinos and also to find a prefecture to host them.

The complexes with casinos, hotels, shops, and conference space are also referred to as IRs.

Japan’s final policy regulations on IRs won’t become official before the beginning of 2020. Yet a draft version of them has already been announced amid the preparation of all the prefectures for participating in the national-wide bid.

Wakayama Buys Land for $70.8 Million to House Future IR

One of the most active participants in the fierce race of becoming the owner of the rights for the first IR project is the Wakayama prefecture located in the south of the Japanese island Honshu.

The local government is on the verge of a deal to buy private land to host the future casino there. The area is in Marina city, an artificial island with a well-developed infrastructure. The prefecture’s local authorities have included extra funding within its budget in order to buy the land.

Yet, the purchase estimated at $70.8 million, which is equal to 7.7 billion Japanese yen, will only take place if the Wakayama prefecture is approved for hosting the casino resort.

The plan is to sell the 50.7-acre land (this makes a territory of 20.5 hectares) to the company developing the IR at the same price at which it had been bought or in other words, for 7.7 billion Japanese yen.

The local authorities are going to start the request-for-proposal (RFP) process as soon as the national government has officially announced their IRs policy. 

Four Gambling Entities Bid for IR in Nagasaki 

Another prefecture whose participation in the IR hosting race is certain is Nagasaki. The prefecture’s governor Hodo Nakamura said that the local government is going to launch an implementation policy for the casino resort project until March 2020.

After that, they are going to start a request-for-proposal (RFP) process and choose a private sector partner as the selection has to end by the autumn of 2020. The local authorities also stated that four entities were interested in taking part in the request-for-concept (RFC) process for a potential casino resort in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park located in the city of Sasebo -a part of the administrative area of Nagasaki.

Yet, only three of them – Oshidori International Development Ltd, Japanese firm Current Corp and Casinos Austria International Japan Inc, agreed to have their names announced in relation to the RFC stage. The fourth entity chose to remain anonymous at this stage.

Although the prefectures have made different steps towards policy implementation for the casino resort, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is planning to start to accept proposals for IRs from the local governments not earlier than January 4, 2021. The deadline to apply is July 30, 2021.

Wakayama and Nagasaki have both reaffirmed their commitment to the project while Hokkaido has become the first prefecture to withdraw from the process after showing strong initial interest.

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