Nagasaki citizens sign petition to halt integrated resort progress

By Ethan Anderson Updated
Public consultation on Nagasaki casino pushed back

A citizens group in the Japanese town of Nagasaki is submitting a bid to host an integrated resort has put a petition to the local government, requesting the bid be halted.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that Nagasaki prefecture and integrated resort operating partner Casinos Austria International Japan are in the process of drafting a regional development plan for an integrated resort based on the opinions of the Prefectural Assembly, and will apply to Japan’s national government by April 2022.

According to reports, the citizens’ group visited the Prefectural Assembly, submitting a petition asking the City Council Secretariat to demand it take measures to halt the application.

The contents of the petition claim a lack of transparency in the basis of the economic effect estimates of an integrated resort as described by the prefecture and that integrated resort operations should not be run by the government due to reasons such as the inability to eliminate the risk of problem gambling.

The petition will be put on the Prefectural Assembly agenda and examined by the General Affairs Committee.

The citizens’ group collected 5,041 signatures.

Claims posted on the website of this anti-IR group state: “Many citizens oppose attempts to facilitate economic growth through risk of increase in gambling dependency, poor influence on the local society and youth and using antisocial industries.

“The point has been made that promotion of casinos is targeting the savings of Japanese people just to make the foreign casinos richer.”

It also states: “The local governments are being drawn in by the temporary creation of jobs, but we absolutely cannot accept something like taking the lead in an unwholesome and degenerate casino bid that will bring misfortune to so many people.

“We believe that this is a path on which the regional administration should not tread.”

Nagasaki inks deal with Casinos Austria for integrated resort

In August, Casinos Austria officially inked a deal to develop an integrated resort in Nagasaki.

The consortium led by Casinos Austria and prefecture officials confirmed that both parties have signed the proposed integrated resort development agreement.

The project targets Nagasaki’s Sasebo City and the leisure region’s Huis Ten Bosch Dutch theme park.

Casinos Austria International Japan, the company’s operating subsidiary in Japan, is a group that involves global hotel giant Hyatt Group.

“We have signed a basic agreement with Casinos Austria International Japan on August 30,” an official prefecture release said.

“We will now proceed with the area development plan to be submitted for approval before April 28, 2022,” Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura said.

Announcing the successful Casinos Austria bid, Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura said: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all entities who participated in our RFP at a time when the world had faced the COVID-19 pandemic, and for their unique proposals that make use of their own expertise and expertise.

“We also thank the members of the evaluation committee, each with their own perspective based on their area of expertise, who have taken the time to strictly evaluate the proposals.

“Going forward, our next course of action is to come to a master agreement with the priority negotiation rights holder. The prefecture will continue its efforts towards receiving national approval for developing an integrated resort in Nagasaki.”

Casinos Austria has released the first details about its planned integrated resort in Nagasaki, claiming it will feature eight hotels including some by Hyatt Hotel Group.

The European casino operator said its site will include a 9000 square metre casino with 220 gaming tables and 2,200 poker machines, “offering a gaming experience of the highest international standards.”

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