Current Corp, Casinos Austria affirm still eye Nagasaki RFP

Two companies have confirmed to GGRAsia their respective intention to participate in an upcoming request-for-proposal (RFP) process for the tilt by Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture at hosting a casino resort scheme. The local government has earmarked land at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city as the probable site for such a project.

The two respective suitors are Japan’s Current Corp; and a Japan unit of Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH.

GGRAsia also approached Hong Kong-listed Oshidori International Holdings Ltd on whether it intended to participate in Nagasaki’s RFP process, but did not get a reply by the time this story went online. In June Oshidori had said it would pursue Nagasaki aims, via what it termed a “bid” that would be “unique” to the local culture of Nagasaki prefecture and Sasebo city.

Oshidori International had also appointed that month former Las Vegas, Nevada casino executive Alejandro Yemenidjian as its non-executive chairman and non-executive director. Mr Yemenidjian was also to serve as chief executive of Oshidori International Development Ltd, a unit responsible for arranging the bid for a Japan integrated resort or “IR”, as large-scale casino complexes with tourism facilities are known in that country. A total of three such schemes will be permitted in that nation in a first phase of liberalisation.

Current Corp; an entity called Casinos Austria International Japan Inc; and Oshidori International had all participated in Nagasaki prefecture’s request-for-concept (RFC) process for an IR scheme. That was staged from late 2019 until January this year.

Issues relating to an IR scheme were mentioned in a Friday meeting of the Nagasaki prefectural assembly, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent. The discussion included the possibility of putting an IR scheme to a vote of the local assembly in June 2021.

The prefectural government could start the RFP stage between July and August, according to GGRAsia’s correspondent, who cited talks at the Friday meeting. The prefectural government had also separately confirmed us that it hoped to have selected a private-sector partner for the IR scheme by “winter” of this year.

Another firm that has expressed interest regarding involvement in a Nagasaki casino scheme is Hong Kong-listed Get Nice Holdings Ltd.

The company was formerly an investor in what was the Grand Waldo casino hotel in Macau operated under the gaming licence of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.

Get Nice said in a Tuesday filing it had paid what it termed an “earnest money” deposit of HKD25 million (US$3.2 million) to an entity called SRC Group, a Japan incorporated firm.

Current Corp is said to be part of SRC Group. According to the latter’s website, its business interests include real estate.

Current Corp has previously expressed to GGRAsia the possibility of pursuing its Nagasaki ambitions in some form of tie up with Get Nice and with Success Universe Group Ltd, the latter an investor in Macau’s Ponte 16 casino resort. Ponte 16 uses the Macau gaming licence of SJM Holdings Ltd.

Tuesday’s filing by Get Nice said the HKD25 million paid to SRC would be transferred to Current Corp and was a “gesture to show its interest” in setting up a “joint venture company… before 30 September” for a project at Huis Ten Bosch.