Home Gambling Industry Japan IR candidates move closer to finishing their project proposals

Japan IR candidates move closer to finishing their project proposals

22 Dec 2021
4 min. read

Slowly, Japan's integrated resort market (IR) is beginning to emerge. While there are many issues still to be resolved, Osaka's and Nagasaki's progress are helping to clear the air. Everything should be available by January.

Nagasaki is still the most vocal in its support for IR. It has given several updates in recent months and will provide more information before end of year. GGRAsia was informed by the prefecture that two additional companies were added to the list.

The IR will include Hotel Sacher, a luxury Austrian hotel brand. It is not surprising that Casinos Austria was selected as Nagasaki's partner in casino development.

A Japanese media company will also be involved. Kadokawa Corp's DWANGO Company Ltd will create a multipurpose theater tentatively called "Japan House."

Nagasaki anticipates that Casinos Austria will have all the pieces in place before the end of this year. The prefecture would like to know who and in what capacity. It will also have to explain how it plans on financing the IR development. The operator has until January 31 to provide this information.

The prefecture has taken another step forward after holding a few public hearings about its IR plans. Nagasaki is now accepting written comments on its District Development Plan. In an effort to showcase the project better, parts of the plan were recently redrawn.

Public feedback is open until January 17. The prefecture will then review the feedback and hold additional public hearings in February to provide more information. The discussion will likely focus on the financing of the project and the benefits that the IR will bring the prefecture.

Over the past few months, Osaka has been quiet about its IR plans. The information has been limited. However, this has changed and we now have a clearer picture about what's to come.

The IR will involve at least 20 additional companies. Osaka yesterday announced that companies like Panasonic Corp. Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Nippon Express Co., West Japan Railway Co. and Panasonic Corp. would be investing in the project. It is not yet known how much they will contribute.

The resort will be built on Osaka Bay's artificial Yumeshima Island. Osaka will need to pay a total amount of $692 million for soil-improvement activities, which include site contamination and measures to prevent soil from liquefaction.

Initial plans were for the IR to be opened prior to the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the timeline. The new target of 2029 could mean that the plan is delayed by one to three years. It all depends on the outcome of the pandemic and how much progress is made to improve the island's soil.

Yumeshima Island had arsenic and fluorine levels underground that exceeded Japan's safety standards. Other problems arise from the soil being liquefiable.

Osaka's municipal government will contribute approximately 79 billion yen ($691 million) to a special account for anti-measures.

The initial investment in the casino resort project totals 1.08 trillion yen ($9.44 billion). Primary operators MGM Resorts International and Orix will finance 530 billion yen ($4.63 billion). Each will take on 40%. The new partners will cover the remaining 20%.

Osaka, like Nagasaki will hold public hearings in February on its IR plans. The final plans for the IRs must be submitted to Japan Diet by April 28, 2022.

22 Dec 2021
4 min. read