Authorities in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture are communicating with casino operators not previously in the direct orbit of the metropolis, with a view to possibly boosting the number of contenders for its upcoming request-for-proposal (RFP) process regarding getting a casino resort there, a Nagasaki official has confirmed to GGRAsia.
“We cannot comment about where the operators are from, but Nagasaki prefecture is open to continuing discussions with interested operators from Japan and overseas until we begin our public tender,” said the official, who asked not to be identified by name.
In Japan such schemes are known as integrated resorts (IRs). Up to three will be permitted nationally in a first phase of market liberalisation.
On Thursday the Nagasaki Shimbun newspaper had reported Wednesday comments by Takeshi Komiya, Nagasaki’s IR Promotion Division director, at a prefectural council meeting, hinting at fresh private-sector interest to add to three long-standing contenders, and one more recent suitor.
“There is a possibility that other operators may also take part in the public tender. We are continuing to communicate with operators in order to have as many application as we can,” Mr Komiya was quoted as saying.
Three contenders that declared interest prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and recently respectively reaffirmed it, are: Japan’s Current Corp; a Japan unit of Casinos Austria International Holdings GmbH; and Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings Ltd.
Tokyo-listed Pixel Companyz said in November that the consortium it leads, would focus on Nagasaki in its pursuit of a Japan casino licence.
Nagasaki prefecture intends to start, in January 2021, the RFP process. At some point between summer and autumn next year, the Nagasaki authorities hope to have selected a partner for an IR scheme. That timetable is in order to be able to submit a proposal to the national government in spring, 2022.
A piece of land at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park located in Sasebo (pictured), within Nagasaki prefecture, has been earmarked for an IR, should Japan’s central government approve one for Nagasaki.
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