Japan casino suitor names new exec to lead its efforts

Hong Kong-listed investment holding firm Oshidori International Holdings Ltd says it has appointed Alejandro Yemenidjian as a non-executive chairman and non-executive director of the company. Mr Yemenidjian will also serve as chief executive of Oshidori International Development Ltd, the group’s unit eyeing a casino resort licence in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture.

Mr Yemenidjian served from July 2009 to September 2015 as chairman and CEO of Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Inc, the operator of the Tropicana Las Vegas property in Nevada, in the United States. According to Tuesday’s filing from Oshidori International, he also served for 16 years on the board of U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International, previously known variously as MGM Grand Inc and MGM Mirage Resorts Inc.

Oshidori International is among three companies that had already publicly confirmed their participation in Nagasaki’s request-for-concept (RFC) phase regarding a tilt at an integrated resort (IR), as large-scale casino complexes with associated tourism facilities are known in Japan. The others are Japan’s Current Corp; and Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH.

Local governments wishing to host a casino resort will need first to choose a private-sector partner and then apply to the central authorities for the right to have a licence. A maximum of three resorts will be permitted in a first phase of liberalisation.

In Tuesday’s filing, Oshidori International said Mr Yemenidjian would “lead and supervise the company’s bid to own and operate a full-service, world class integrated resort project that includes luxury hotels, a casino, convention facilities, entertainment venues, shopping and restaurants in Nagasaki, Japan.”

The company added that the executive would help “formulate a strategy to successfully complete the IR project’s request-for-proposal [RFP] tender process and to manage the overall operation of the IR project.”

Mr Yemenidjian currently serves as chairman and CEO of his own private investment company, GAST Enterprises Ltd. The executive has a service agreement with Oshidori International, under which he will receive an annual service fee of US$1 million and a discretionary bonus.

In late April Nagasaki said it would launch in a “couple of months” – instead of the previously-mentioned spring time frame – its RFP, citing “present global circumstances”. That was understood to be a reference to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted business and business travel across the Asia-Pacific region.

Nagasaki prefecture would like to put such a casino resort on a circa 31-hectare (76.6-acre) site at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city (pictured).

The Nagasaki authorities are holding detailed explanatory meetings on the prefecture’s IR implementation policies with potential candidates until June 19.

Source: http://www.ggrasia.com/japan-casino-suitor-names-new-exec-to-lead-its-efforts/