A citizen’s group has filed a lawsuit in the Nagasaki District Court, asking the governor of that Japanese prefecture to stop spending public money on efforts to get an integrated resort (IR) with casino in that community, reports the Nagasaki Shimbun.
The group – “Stop the Casino Nagasaki Prefectural Network” – had said in its complaint filed on behalf of eight individuals, that the prefectural government under governor Kengo Oishi, had signed a contract for circa JPY110 million (US$761,500) with a law firm and other advisors.
According to Wednesday’s news report, the contract was to review the prefecture’s IR Area Development Plan and related work required in the bid process for an IR.
The lobby group thinks the money is an improper use of public funds, as it claims the IR application is not likely to be approved at national level.
In June, the same lobby group had tried to get the prefectural audit committee to step into the process. But on August 1, the audit committee had said there had been nothing irregular about payment of the fee. The lobby group decided after that to file the lawsuit, said the report.
Nagasaki prefecture (pictured) submitted its proposal for a casino resort to the national government in late April, as did Osaka. Nagasaki’s private-sector partner on the plan is Casinos Austria International Japan Inc.
The proposed site is land next to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo City, within the prefecture.
A figure of JPY438.3 billion (US$3.03 billion) has been mentioned for Nagasaki’s scheme.
Mr Oishi has said that some parties have given what the prefecture refers to as “commitment letters” regarding acting as arrangers of funding for the scheme, but according to the lawsuit, has not made public the supporting documents.
The plaintiff’s side thinks it is highly likely that the letters the prefecture sent to the central government would not meet the level of certainty required by the central government.
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