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Japan – Wakayama and Nagasaki confirm details behind their IR visions

By - 11 March 2019

Two more Japanese prefectures Wakayama and Nagasaki have now confirmed their commitment in bidding for one of the three Japanese casino licences.

The IR Promotion Office in Sasebo outlined that Nagasaki prefecture wanted to build an IR at what is Japan’s leading amusement park, Huis Ten Bosch, with the aim of opening in 2024. Sasebo is a city on Japan’s Kyushu Island in the North West prefecture of Nagasaki.

The Dutch-themed amusement park is owned by H.I.S. Co. whose Chairman Hideo Sawada has long wanted to add a casino to the facility. Way back in 2014, he said: “We will be the fastest one to build a casino, once there is a green light. No other Japanese city can turn a profit on casinos other than us, apart from Tokyo and Osaka. We’re seeking a sophisticated and elegant European-style facility next to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park.”

The Office has said that over 20 international IR operators from North America, Europe and Asia have expressed their interest with one confirming it would invest US$3.6bn.

Wakayama, meanwhile, located east of Osaka, recently hosted an IR forum which attracted 300 people. It outlined that its IR would cost US$2.5bn and have a 2,500 room hotel with a convention centre and exhibition hall. It would open in 2024 and be located in Wakayama Marina City about 40 minutes from Kansai International Airport and a 70 minute drive from Osaka. Its infrastructure is already well developed with many hotels and an amusement park based on medieval European townscapes.

The event was organised by Asia Gaming Brief and events company Hogo and was supported by the Wakayama Prefecture Government and Chamber of Commerce along with four casino Group’s Solaire, Lucien Barriere, Mohegan Gaming and Galaxy Entertainment.

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