Three companies that had separately confirmed to GGRAsia they would take part in Nagasaki’s request-for-proposal (RFP) process concerning a casino scheme, say their plans have not changed.
Since Japan’s Current Corp, along with a local unit of Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH, plus Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings Ltd, had initially confirmed to GGRAsia their interest in a Nagasaki gaming complex, Shinzo Abe – regarded as a key proponent of casino liberalisation – has resigned as prime minister.
On Monday, Nagasaki’s prefectural government said the RFP process for an integrated resort (IR) – as large-scale casino complexes are known in that nation - had been postponed indefinitely. But it cited an administrative concern – the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions – as reasons for halting the RFP, and did not mention Mr Abe’s departure.
Oshidori International told GGRAsia in its latest commentary on its Japan ambitions: “The company remains 100-percent committed to the project and to Nagasaki prefecture. Oshidori is pressing ahead at full steam in preparation to enter the RFP phase. Oshidori has been working on an exceptional plan and putting together a first-class team for the proposal once the RFP is ready. ”
A representative of Casinos Austria International Japan Inc noted to GGRAsia that the firm expected the timing of Nagasaki’s RFP would be linked to whatever further decisions might be made by the new national government, in relation to the realisation of the country’s so-called basic policy on IRs.
Current Corp mentioned to GGRAsia that the company expected Nagasaki prefecture to proceed with its tilt at hosting a casino resort, based on the “original application schedule” mentioned by the outgoing national government.
It had previously been mentioned in commentary by the central authorities that local governments – with a selected private-sector partner – would be expected to apply in the first half of 2021 to the national government, for the right to host a casino resort. A sticking point there is that the national policy has not yet been published, making it hard for suitors to be sure of the ground rules for bids.
In early August – before Mr Abe’s departure – the country’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism had said Japan’s national government was reviewing the possibility of introducing changes to its timetable for licensing casino resorts, citing the pandemic as a factor.
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