At least three foreign casino resort operators have expressed an interest in the integrated resort (IR) licence in Nagasaki, according to Japanese newspaper Nagasaki Shimbun.
The prefecture’s Request for Proposal (RFP) is set to launch on 7 January 2021, with four candidates already in line to take part; Casinos Austria, Oshidori International Holdings, Pixel Companyz, and a consortium comprising Current Corp and Get Nice Holdings.
It is believed that two of the new candidates are US-based companies, while the third is headquartered in Asia. All three are reportedly mid-sized, and already operate IRs. The three companies have also previously expressed interest in other IRs throughout Japan.
Nagasaki is one of four locations in Japan currently eyeing IR development, with Yokohama, Wakayama, and Osaka also involved. It’s preferred site for the resort is at Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in Sasebo.
Hokkaido had also previously been involved in Japan’s IR plans for development, generating interest from Rush Street Interactive, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, and Hard Rock International, but the prefecture withdrew in late 2019.
Japan’s government is expected to accept area certification from October 2021 to April 2022, before offering development to a maximum of three areas. The impact of COVID-19 has forced the project to be delayed by around nine months.
Nagasaki announced on 25 December 2020 that its RFP would begin on 7 January, while both Wakayama and Osaka launched their RFPs in early 2020.