Nagasaki and Yokohama Move Towards Integrated Resorts

Despite delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is looking increasingly likely that this year Japan will be moving forward with its plans to introduce integrated resorts (IR).

There has already been some progress since the start of the year, with Nagasaki launching its request-for-proposal (RFP) process and Yokohama set to do the same in the very near future. As the plans for the gambling market become firmer, there has been a clear increase in activity.

Wakayama is one of a number of areas interested in building an IR, and two casino operators have confirmed interest in doing so. According to the area’s IR Promotion Office, Clare Best Neem Ventures and SunCity Group Holdings Japan Co. have both submitted documents in support of their applications. In a previous round of review, both were selected as potential candidates, and while there is no evidence that Wakayama will be among the first three locations selected to host an IR, the companies are more than ready if they are given the go-ahead. It is expected that Wakayama will make a decision later next year and hoped that a casino could be introduced within five years.

Meanwhile, Oshidori International Development LLC, which is hoping to be granted the rights to be included in Nagasaki’s IR scheme, has brought in Keigo Nakatani as its chief operating officer. He is an economics major and business development executive, and the company believes that he will give them an edge over the competition.

Alejandro Yemenizian Oshidori Chairman, President and CEO

Oshidori’s rule is not only to create the best IR resort in Asia, but also to fulfill its social responsibilities to Nagasaki and Kyushu through its IR business, and to create a new society together with local people using IR as a catalyst. In order to achieve this, we believed that a person who can carefully discover the potential of the region and present it to the world is the right person to take office.

Alejandro YemenizianOshidori Chairman, President and CEO

However, elsewhere in the country, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki has cast doubt on reports that the area would resume its bid for an IR license this year, “Considering a business environment surrounding operators, infections in Japan and overseas, and the state of the economy, I can’t say we have secured a sufficient period of time for consideration.”

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