Anti-IR group files lawsuit against Nagasaki Prefecture

The Nagasaki Prefectural Government expects to open an IR in 2027.
The Nagasaki Prefectural Government expects to open an IR in 2027.

The group is challenging the government’s use of public money in its bid to host an integrated resort.

Japan.- Nagasaki’s integrated resort bid has come under fire from a group that has filed a lawsuit in Nagasaki District Court. The group is challenging the use of taxpayer money on the project.

The Nagasaki Shimbun said a group, going by the name of the Stop the Casino Nagasaki Prefectural Network, claims authorities signed a contract for circa JPY110m (US$761,500) with a law firm and other advisors as part of its IR efforts. They claim the funds were used improperly because the IR application is unlikely to be approved by Japan’s national government.

In August, a prefectural audit committee dismissed a request from the same group for an audit into consultancy payments to support Nagasaki’s IR plans. The audit committee concluded that there was nothing irregular about the payments. The four-person audit committee was elected by the governor, who supported the IR proposal.

Nagasaki is one of the two cities that have submitted bids to develop IRs in Japan. Authorities chose Casinos Austria International Japan Inc as partner for their bid and expect the IR to open in 2027. The planned cost for the development of the IR is JPY438.3bn (US$3.8bn), including JPY175.3bn in equity costs.

Kengo Oishi, governor of Nagasaki prefecture, has recently said that the financial services companies Cantor Fitzgerald and Credit Suisse are interested in acting as financial arrangers for Nagasaki’s integrated resort (IR) project.

According to GGRAsia, Oishi said Cantor Fitzgerald and Credit Suisse may participate in the 80 per cent equity portion of the financing and also arrange loans for a portion of the funds. He said both companies had been issued letters of commitment.

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