Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture says that its request-for-proposal (RFP) process for selecting a private-sector partner regarding a casino resort has been conducted in a “fair manner”. In reply to an enquiry from GGRAsia, the authority added it would continue to act in that manner “as we prepare to create our national IR development plan application”.
The latter was a reference to an integrated resort (IR), as large-scale casino complexes with tourism facilities are known in Japan, and to the fact that local governments must apply to the national authorities for the right to host such a development.
On August 10, the prefectural authorities in Nagasaki (pictured) said they had selected Casinos Austria International Japan Inc as their “priority” choice as partner for the local government’s tilt at having a casino resort.
But it was reported in Japanese media that another of the contenders – Niki Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group, a Japanese enterprise – had questioned the integrity of Nagasaki’s selection process.
Even before the selection of Casinos Austria had been announced, the other suitor among the three courting Nagasaki – Oshidori International Development Ltd, part of Oshidori International Holdings Ltd – had issued a statement saying it was considering withdrawing from the RFP process, unless it was “conducted in an ethical manner”.
One of the issues raised subsequently was the fairness or otherwise, of Nagasaki’s application of background-check tests relating to the suitor organisations.
Nagasaki’s Integrated Resort Promotion Division said on Friday in its emailed reply to GGRAsia: “Casinos Austria International Japan was chosen as the priority rights holder after an overall evaluation of five different evaluation sections.”
It added: “The background checks have been applied equally to all of the applicants.”
GGRAsia asked Nagasaki prefecture whether to date it had received any complaints or requests to re-evaluate the review process, relating to the Nagasaki IR partner-candidates and their respective business proposals.
The authority replied that “since the tender is not yet completed, information regarding the individual applicants cannot be disclosed in order to complete a fair tendering process”.
Up to three casino resorts will be permitted in Japan, under the liberalisation framework.
Nagasaki has said it expects to make its own submission to the national government by spring 2022.
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