“Five groups” have submitted documents in moves to qualify for the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase of Nagasaki prefecture’s effort at getting a casino resort.
That is according to a Friday announcement by the prefectural integrated resort (IR) promotion division. It didn’t name the entities involved.
Hodo Nakamura, Nagasaki prefecture’s governor, said they were drawn from, respectively, Europe, the United States and Asia.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the applicants and their partner companies for making their applications during a time when the world continues to fight Covid-19,” said Mr Nakamura in a statement. “We will continue to follow the national basic policy and proceed with a rigorous review for our IR operator selection,” he added.
The Japanese local-government authority would like to create a casino resort on land at Sasebo city.
Under a timetable mentioned at the start of January, it is anticipated that in March, Nagasaki will announce the result of a “first-round selection”, narrowing to three, the number of private-sector would-be partners for an IR scheme.
Nagasaki’s IR promotion division reiterated on Friday, that in May, Nagasaki planned a “probity test” on the entities on its IR-partner shortlist.
August would see project presentations, and thereafter, selection of an IR operator by the prefectural government.
Japanese local governments interested in having a casino resort complex must first find a private-sector partner, then apply to the national government to host one.
A December 18 announcement by Japan’s government – the same day it confirmed the national basic policy on IRs – reiterated that the central authorities would start accepting local-government submissions from October 1, 2021, with a closing date of April 28, 2022.
By “springtime” 2022, there will be a resolution on Nagasaki’s casino resort scheme by the prefectural government and Sasebo City Council, before their submission to the national government, according to the prefecture’s schedule.
A national assessment process for Japan’s casino resort schemes will take place during “autumn to winter” of 2022, the timetable stated. Were Nagasaki to receive approval, 2023 would see the conclusion of the IR implementation agreement between Nagasaki prefecture and the IR operator, in order to start construction.
The opening of any Nagasaki scheme should take place during “the latter half of the 2020s”, the local government’s rundown stated.
(Updated at 2.50pm, Feb 1)
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