Nagasaki Casino Developers Won’t Appeal Failed Pitch Decision

Posted on: March 13, 2024, 12:43h. 

Last updated on: March 13, 2024, 11:40h.

The consortium behind the Nagasaki integrated resort casino pitch that was rejected last year by Japan’s central government in Tokyo won’t appeal the decision.

Nagasaki casino Japan integrated resort
The Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki will remain free of a casino resort. The developers and government officials behind the failed project will not appeal the decision by Japanese government officials to reject the integrated resort plan. (Image: Huis Ten Bosch)

Nagasaki was an interested prefecture for one of the three casino licenses authorized in Japan in 2018. In October 2021, Nagasaki selected a newly formed consortium called Kyushu Resorts Japan, led by Casinos Austria as its preferred casino developer.

The Casinos Austria scheme succeeded over bids from French hotelier Partouche Group and U.S.-based Tribal and commercial casino operator Mohegan. The Nagasaki government’s picking of the Casinos Austria presentation was ultimately a bad bet, as financing concerns led to Japan’s Casino Administration Committee denying the group a gaming concession.

Though the government agency has two remaining casino licenses it can issue, the committee — which was formed with delegates from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism — vetoed the casino proposal.

“It is difficult to say that there is sufficient evidence to support the certainty of financing,” the agency reasoned in its rejection.

No Appeal Forthcoming

Nagasaki and the prefecture-city’s casino syndicate were given the right to appeal the Casino Administration Committee’s decision. With the March 27 appeal deadline approaching, officials with the would-be development group revealed this week the consortium won’t appeal the verdict.

We are not going to make an administrative appeal request to have the plan examined again,” Kyushu Resorts CEO Takashi Oya revealed this week to GGRAsia, a news service focused on Asian gaming matters.

“The reasons for the non-approval are the unclearness of those criteria given by the government as to fundraising certainty and implementation capability and the deviation in understanding,” Oya added.

Concerns were raised when Credit Suisse, the Swiss financial services conglomerate, agreed to be acquired by UBS last year for $3.25 billion. The takeover was viewed as a bailout, as Credit Suisse was facing collapse at the time of the news.

Casinos Austria’s Nagasaki plan, a development expected to cost $3.3 billion, was to be primarily financed by Credit Suisse. The bank’s takeover raised concerns that UBS might not be willing to uphold the funding terms.

Casinos Austria had pitched a casino undertaking at the Netherlands-themed Huis Ten Bosch theme park. The project blueprint included a casino with 2,220 slot machines, 220 table games, and eight hotels with thousands of guest rooms.

Nagasaki is one of only two cities in the world to have experienced a nuclear attack. Near the end of World War II, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The explosions are estimated to have killed upwards of 200,000 people. 

Government Also Won’t Appeal

In January, Nagasaki Gov. Kengo Oishi said he would demand answers from Tokyo as to why his prefecture wasn’t allocated a casino license. Japan’s law allows for two additional licenses to be granted. The first was given to Osaka for an $8.1 billion integrated casino resort led by MGM Resorts International.

Oishi has since changed his stance to come into agreement with Kyushu Resorts. The governor is expected to soon publicly confirm that the prefecture and city will formally abandon its plans to secure a casino permit.

GGRAsia reports that Oishi’s announcement could come as soon as today, March 13.