Casinos Austria Signs Agreement to Develop Casino Resort in Nagasaki Amid Allegations of Ethical Irregularities

by Ciaran McEneaney - Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 9:01

The local government in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture has announced that it has signed a master agreement with Casinos Austria International that will see the casino operator develop an integrated resort (IR) in the region.

The deal will see Casinos Austria invest an estimated JPY350 billion (€2.7 billion) to JPY460 billion (€3.5 billion) into the development of a hotel and casino that the local government hopes will be a stimulus to tourism and boost the local economy.

Nagasaki’s Governor Hodo Nakamura said of the deal:

“The operator’s business proposal is backed by a business track record in Europe and other international markets and aims to realize a traditional and luxurious integrated resort of the world’s highest standard, in harmony with the landscape of Huis Ten Bosch.”

Hui Ten Bosch is a theme park consisting of replicas of historical Dutch buildings located in Nagasaki. The theme park is situated next to the proposed site for the new casino resort.

Governor Nakamura went on to add:

 “We will now proceed with the area development plan to be submitted for approval before April 28 of next year. We will work to realise the Kyushu-Nagasaki IR with the highest regard for strict measures to mitigate public concerns such as gambling addiction.

The Kyushu-Nagasaki IR will vitalise the local economy and tourism industry affected by Covid-19, and also contribute to the development of the Kyushu region and furthermore our country.”

Under Japanese legislation, up to three integrated resorts will be developed in Japan with a decision yet to finalized as to where those resorts will be located. However, the Nagasaki prefecture government feels that it is in a strong position to win approval now that it has signed its master agreement with Casinos Austria. A final decision will be made by the Japanese government some time in 2022.

Earlier in August, Japanese media had reported that a Japanese contender for the development—Niki Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group—had questioned the integrity of the developer selection process.

A third contender, Oshidori International Holdings Ltd, said that it had removed itself from the bidding process as it felt there were “serious ethical irregularities” in the process.

In its first half filings for the year 2021, the company stated that it was:

“The group was shocked by the restrictive and unreasonable rules and measures imposed by Nagasaki prefecture and incidents that made the group question whether there have been serious ethical irregularities.”

The Nagasaki prefecture government has yet to comment on both losing bidders’ allegations.

Ciaran McEneaney

Ciaran has a decade of experience writing for some of the biggest names in the eSports, poker, and casino industries.