Nagasaki Faces Setback in IR Plans as Central Government Questions Funding

The proposal to establish a casino resort in Nagasaki Prefecture has been rejected by the Japanese government, which is headed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. This is mostly due to the lack of confidence around its funding.

The plan has been in the works since April last year

Since April 2022, there have been two casino resort developments that are being considered, including the idea. The other was the casino resort project in Osaka, which was the country’s first. According to The Asahi Shimbun, the plans put out by the administration of Nagasaki Prefecture called for the establishment of a casino resort on the 31-hectare site of Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park with Dutch influences located in Sasebo, Nagasaki, in 2027.

The planned casino resort was expected to draw 8.4 million tourists a year and generate 330 billion yen, or around $2.3 billion, in income for the southwest of Japan.

Additionally, the proposal sought to use financial institution loans to finance 60% of the first investment, or around 440 billion yen, or $3.1 billion. But after experiencing a management crisis, Credit Suisse, the massive Swiss banking company that had helped finance the casino resort, was bought out by UBS Group AG, another Swiss bank and financial institution. Furthermore, a license is needed in addition to government clearance to start a casino in Japan.

An expert committee within the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism was in charge of making the decisions. According to Kyodo News+, the committee assessed the casino resort’s ability to draw in international visitors, guard against gambling addiction, and strengthen the local economy.

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Osaka’s Casino Resort – The Similar Project

The casino resort project in Osaka, which was comparable to the one in Nagasaki, was the other planned project. The plan was to construct a casino resort on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay that will serve as the site of the 2025 World Expo. The casino resort would have a ferry port, hotels, shops, a museum, and a meeting facility. A helicopter pad for high rollers would also be included. The Japanese National Government formally authorized the proposal in April of this year.

It is anticipated that the project would bring in around 20 million visitors annually and yield 1.14 trillion yen in income for the area. The project was expected to have cost 1.27 trillion yen in total, and the casino resort was scheduled to open to the public around the autumn of 2030.

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