Nagasaki inks deal with Casinos Austria for integrated resort

By Charlotte Lee Updated
Nagasaki inks deal with Casinos Austria for integrated resort

Casinos Austria has 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.

Nagasaki is the second prefecture in Japan to confirm an integrated resort development agreement.

Clairvest signs on to build casino in Wakayama

In late August, Wakayama came to terms with its partner, Clairvest Group.

Clairvest’s entity created for its Japan ambitions involves two other companies – French casino operator Groupe Partouche and AMSE Resorts Japan Limited.

AMSE is a unit controlled by William Weidner, a longtime casino executive who previously served as the president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands.

Japan’s central government legalised up to three commercial gambling integrated resort facilities in 2018.

The country’s legislature has been since mulling over various aspects of the forthcoming industry, including the licensing process and gambling regulations.

Japan’s Casino Administration Committee will begin fielding integrated resort pitches from prefectures/cities and their respective integrated resort developers on October 1, 2021.

Applications will be accepted through April 28, 2022.

Nagasaki casino plan revealed

Casinos Austria has proposed a US$3.2 billion integrated resort scheme on adjacent land next to the Huis Ten Bosch amusement park.

The consortium’s prefecture development agreement requires various minimum features, including: Casino floor measuring at least 9000 square metres, minimum of 2000 poker machines and 200 table games, several hotels that offer casual to luxury rooms, exhibition space of at least 20,000 square metres, concern and entertainment venue with at least 6000 seats and various attractions that appeal to a wide range of patrons.

The Nagasaki governor hopes the project will rejuvenate the prefecture economy in the wake of COVID-19.

“The Nagasaki IR will revitalise the local economy and tourism industry affected by COVID-19 and also contribute to the development of the Kyushu region and furthermore our country,” the governor said.

Kyushu is the third-largest of Japan’s five main islands. With a population of 13.3 million, it accounts for roughly 11 per cent of Japan’s total population.

A core component of the Nagasaki integrated resort is making sure the casino doesn’t harm society within the prefecture.

With the resort destination forecast to attract 8.4 million visitors annually, government officials are requiring that the casino come with a variety of public defences.

Nagasaki’s integrated resort development agreement requires the prefecture to conduct a rigorous and in-depth background check of all prominent individuals involved, as well as the operating history of both Casinos Austria and Hyatt.

The potential casino must also implement a “gambling addiction countermeasure management” system that is similar to the best practices utilised throughout Europe.

“We will work to realise the Kyushu-Nagasaki integrated resort with the highest regard for strict measures to mitigate public concerns, such as gambling addiction,” Governor Nakamura said.

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