Japanese pachinko hall operator Dynam Japan Holdings Co Ltd said in a Hong Kong filing it is to enter the “resort development business” in Japan. The filing didn’t mention a casino or the size of the proposed investment.
It added however that a target site for development was land that has been used as a training institute by Dynam in Shimonoseki, the largest city of Yamaguchi prefecture on the island of Honshu in Japan.
“A resort development basic plan will be prepared during the business year of 2015 with the aim of budgeting for the business year of 2016,” stated Tuesday’s filing.
“The experiences [sic] of operating and managing facilities in the leisure and service industry gained by the group through the operation of pachinko halls for 48 years play a major role in entering into the resort development business,” it added in the regulatory announcement. Dynam has had a Hong Kong listing since 2012.
Dynam said in its Tuesday filing that a unit called Resort Development Group would be set up with effect from July 1. “We will then go forward with our plan to engage in the resort development business,” it added.
A Reuters report in April 2014 quoted Dynam’s chairman Yoji Sato saying the firm was seeking a partnership with an Asian casino operator once an initial bill to legalise casino gambling was passed in Japan. The article further mentioned that Mr Sato wanted to target regional markets outside big cities in Japan. Tokyo and Osaka have been mentioned as possible sites for investment by some of the large U.S. casino operators, including MGM Resorts International.
In a filing to the Hong Kong bourse in April 2014, Dynam confirmed reports it was interested in “a partner to enter into the casino business in Japan as a mid- or long-term plan of the group”, but said that as of that date it was “yet to identify any such partner and no formal agreement has been entered into with any party in this regard”.
In June 2013, Dynam invested in Macau casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd, which runs two Macau casinos under the licence of SJM Holdings Ltd. It cited as one of the reasons for the investment a wish to gain knowledge of casino operations.
“…the investment in Macau Legend would, apart from the expected investment return, allow the company to obtain valuable know-how in the entertainment and casino business in Macau,” it said at the time.
Dynam and Macau Legend were also negotiating a possible collaboration on gaming operations, but the partnership talks ended in February with no deal.
A number of investment analysts have recently expressed optimism that Japan could pass an initial enabling bill for casino resorts this year. But despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having a parliamentary majority, the government has recently become embroiled in other issues, including changes to the law that would allow Japan’s Self-Defence Force to engage in “collective self-defence” and therefore come to the aid of its allies.
The current session of Japan’s parliament was officially to end on Wednesday, but it was extended by 95 days to September 27, according to local media reports.
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