Nagasaki prefecture (pictured) has confirmed it is looking for casino resort capital investment that is only about half that mentioned by several international operators in relation to Osaka and Yokohama respectively.
On December 20, Nagasaki prefecture indicated in its draft integrated resort (IR) basic concept and IR implementation policy, that it was looking for investment up to a maximum of about JPY550 billion (US$5 billion) or as little as JPY320 billion. A figure of US$10 billion had been mentioned respectively for an IR – as these schemes are known in Japan – in Osaka or one in Yokohama.
Public consultation on Nagasaki’s IR basic concept and IR implementation policy started on December 20 and will run to January 17, 2020, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The latest confirmed price range for a Nagasaki IR is still a lot more than the tentative number mentioned by the prefecture in April 2018, when a figure of JPY200 billion was suggested according to media reports at the time.
Japan has said that only three casino resorts would be permitted in a first phase of market liberalisation. Some commentators have stated the product mix might involve two big resorts in big cities, and another resort in a smaller regional centre.
The upward revision in Nagasaki’s range for capital spend was based on suggestions by companies that had taken part in Nagasaki’s request-for-concept (RFC) phase, according to information gathered by GGRAsia’s correspondent.
Nagasaki had – as of November 29 – a total of four entities confirming participation in its RFC process regarding a possible casino resort scheme on land at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city. None of the publicly-named suitors was an international brand on the scale of the six brands with Macau operations that have so far declared their interest in the Japan market.
According to the latest information compiled by our correspondent, three companies are currently publicly confirming participation in Nagasaki’s RFC. They are: Oshidori International Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed investment holding firm; Japan’s Current Corp; and Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH. Companies that do not take part in the RFC process would still be able to participate in the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase at a later stage, according to local authorities.
In early November Tim McNally, chairman of Hong Kong-listed Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd, a firm that had been mentioned in relation to Nagasaki, told GGRAsia that the group was waiting for Japan’s national government to outline more details on the casino liberalisation process as a whole before being able to say anything definitive about the firm’s ideas for a bid to enter that market.
The national government is likely to publish its so-called basic policy on IRs in the first quarter 2020 according to some commentators.
Meanwhile, Nagasaki has earmarked land at Huis Ten Bosch as the Kyushu region’s preferred site for an IR.
But another Kyushu city – Kitakyushu – has persistently put itself forward as an alternative location for such a project within the region.
Earlier this month Kitakyushu’s mayor said his administration had been in contact with three separate companies interested in developing a casino resort there.
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