December 29, 2023
TOKYO – The central government announced Wednesday that it decided not to approve Nagasaki Prefecture’s plan to develop an integrated resort (IR) featuring a casino over doubts about the feasibility of securing huge funds required for the project.
Such a resort plan in the nation will be carried out only by the Osaka prefectural government for the time being.
The Nagasaki prefectural government had proposed the IR to be built at Huis Ten Bosch, a resort in Sasebo in the prefecture, with the aim of opening in 2027. In April last year, the prefecture submitted a development plan to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.
The plan called for an initial investment of ¥438.3 billion, 60% of which was to be covered by loans from financial institutions. However, financial concerns arose after Swiss financial giant Credit Suisse, which was involved in the project fundraising, collapsed.
The ministry’s screening committee consisting of experts in tourism and economics pointed out that the lineup of investors in the project had changed significantly since the application stage, and that documents guaranteeing the investments or financing were not sufficiently prepared. The committee sought the land, infrastructure, transport and tourism minister not to approve the plan due to doubts over the funding. It added that it could not find investors in the project had sufficient records of operating IRs and pointed out that measures against gambling addiction and illegal activities — common concerns over casinos — were inadequate.