The race to develop an integrated resort license in Nagasaki is heating up with at least three new contenders indicating they will take part in the prefecture’s Request for Proposal when it launches this week.
According to a report by Nagasaki Shimbun, the three candidates are in addition to the four known contenders: Oshidori International Holdings, Casinos Austria, Pixel Companyz in collaboration with Groupe Partouche, and a consortium comprising Get Nice Holdings and Current Corp.
While the identities of the three new candidates have not been publicly revealed, it is believed that two are US-based companies with the third headquartered in Asia. All three already operate IRs, are said to be “mid-sized” and have previously expressed interest in other locations in Japan.
The news is certain to raise speculation as to who the new candidates might be, particularly after Hokkaido’s decision to withdraw from Japan’s IR race in late 2019. Hard Rock International, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and Rush Street were among the US firms pursuing the Hokkaido IR opportunity at that time.
Nagasaki is one of four locations currently in the mix for IR development in Japan, alongside Osaka prefecture/city, Wakayama prefecture and Yokohama city. Both Osaka and Wakayama launched their RFPs in early 2020 before the full impact of COVID-19 was felt.
Nagasaki announced on 25 December 2020 that it would begin its RFP on 7 January 2021.
The national government will accept area certification from October 2021 until April 2022, after which time it will review submitted plans and offer certification to a maximum of three areas.