The national government of Japan could delay the period to accept applications for the development of so-called integrated casino resorts (IRs) in the country by between six and twelve months, according to the Nagasaki authorities.
The process has already been delayed because of various factors, including the scandals associated with the national government that have lately been unleashed and the coronavirus pandemic. As the GGRAsia reported, the information of the delay has been derived from a meeting that the Nagasaki prefectural assembly held on September 28th. At the meeting, some unidentified sources believing that the Government is considering a further delay of the process were cited.
According to some industry analysts, the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent appointment of a new Prime Minister in Japan have been considered some of the most important factors that have affected the timetable for introducing the Government’s basic policy on integrated casino resorts.
At a meeting of the Nagasaki prefectural assembly that took place on September 28th, local authorities explained that, according to data gathered from several unidentified sources, the National Government could be expected to delay the period for IR proposals delivery from the local governments by up to twelve months. Furthermore, the Nagasaki officials shared that a survey held by the prefecture among casino operators, the majority of gambling businesses believed the Nagasaki authorities did the right thing when they decided to pause the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase.
Nagasaki Prefectural Authorities Already Postponed RFP Phase of IR Application Process
As CasinoGamesPro reported, the prefecture’s authorities have postponed the request-for-proposal phase of the integrated casino resort application process for an indefinite period. The decision was confirmed by a local official to GGRAsia on September 1st.
Also, the beginning of September saw three operators that had confirmed they are willing to take part in the RFP phase of the casino license application process in Nagasaki and, despite the delay, their plans had not changed.
At the meeting that took place on September 28th, the Nagasaki prefecture’s authorities revealed that the local authorities have established a body to develop measures aimed at tackling potential social issues that could arise from the opening of an integrated casino resort in the region. The move has been initiated for the authorities to respond to concerns associated with customers’ safety and security, especially when it comes to problem gambling.
The Japanese Government previously revealed that it will permit a total of three casino resorts to be established in the country as part of the first phase of the gambling market liberalization. Since then, it has been expected to unveil its basic policy on the integrated casino resorts, which have been presented as a form of development for regional economies as casino venues are expected to help the regions attract more overseas tourists.
The delay could be a good thing for Nagasaki because if it actually happens, it will not change much for the prefecture. However, for other regions, such as Yokohama and Osaka, the delay would not be good news. The city of Yokohama has been one of the contenders for an integrated casino resort license but there has been some opposition trying to take the city out of the competition. The delay might make it easier for the opposition to win. Osaka authorities, on the other hand, have expressed hopes to proceed with the casino legalization process as soon as possible, and a delay of six to twelve months will not be what they have been expecting.