The “economic ripple” effect from the Nagasaki gaming resort project proposed by Casinos Austria International Japan Inc is likely to be JPY320 billion (US$2.9 billion). That is the lowest end of the JPY320-billion to JPY420-billion benefit mentioned by the prefecture when it announced its basic integrated resort (IR) concept in April last year.
The latest information on the “economic ripple” effect of Casino Austria’s project for a local integrated resort – as large-scale casino complexes are known in Japan – was given in the Nagasaki prefectural assembly on September 17 (Friday), the second day of a question-and-answer session on the progress of the local IR policy, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The reply was given in response to an assembly member from the Liberal Democratic Party, the grouping that also governs at national level.
The September 16 question-and-answer session of the Nagasaki prefectural assembly on the IR topic also produced one question on why two rejected suitors for Nagasaki’s tilt at having a casino resort had been complaining the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase was faulty. That was also according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
One of the spurned suitors as a casino partner for Nagasaki, Hong Kong-listed investment group Oshidori International Holdings Ltd, said in its first-half results filed on August 30 its experience of bidding to collaborate with the prefecture on a casino complex had led it to “question whether there have been serious ethical irregularities” in the process.
Nagasaki prefecture told GGRAsia in a recent emailed statement that the selection process for a private-sector partner on an integrated resort had been conducted fairly.
It was reported in Japanese media that another of the rejected contenders – Niki Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group, a Japanese enterprise – had also questioned the integrity of Nagasaki’s selection process.
After a first round of assessment regarding the RFP, judged out of 300 points, Niki Chyau Fwu had been in first place, with 182.9 points; the Oshidori consortium had been second, with 154.0 points; and the Casinos Austria International Japan entity had been third, with 94.7 points.
After a second round of assessment – judged out of 1,000 points – Casinos Austria rose to top spot, with 697.0 points; the Oshidori consortium was second, with 682.8 points; and Niki Chyau Fwu was in third, with 667.1 points.
Nagasaki prefecture has said the first assessment did not have any impact on the second-stage assessment.
On September 16, the prefecture stated that the overall RFP result was based on the strength of the candidates’ respective responses to the prefecture’s RFP process. Research regarding probity of the candidates was a separate matter, it added. That is according also to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
Up to three casino resorts will be permitted in Japan, under the liberalisation framework. Local governments must find a private-sector partner, and then apply to the national government for the right to host an IR.
Nagasaki has said it expects to make its submission – for a resort in Sasebo (pictured) within the prefecture – to the national government by spring 2022.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters