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Japan: foreign interest in IRs shows expectations of profitability

The minister said foreign companies remained interested in the projects.
The minister said foreign companies remained interested in the projects.

Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba says foreign companies’ bids show expectations that IRs will be profitable.

Japan.- Kazuyoshi Akaba, Japan’s minister for land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, said that Japan’s future integrated resorts were expected to be profitable for private investors.

Answering questions on the feasibility of Japan’s IR initiative during a House of Representatives budget committee meeting, he said that foreign companies would not submit applications if they did not think Japan’s IRs would be profitable.

Akaba said: “The operator will apply as a partner with the local government. If it is decided that there will be no profit at that point, they will probably not apply.

They will only apply once they have made a full and thorough risk assessment. After that, the government will assess the application.

He added: “Revenue for Japanese travel agents has dropped significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as the IR opening will be in the latter part of the decade, it is difficult to assess the impact.

“However, I believe the specific risks will be analyzed and then they will make a decision whether to apply or not.”

Japan plans for 30 per cent of casino revenue to be paid to national and local government in addition to corporate tax.

Japan wants to approve three integrated resorts in the country. Proposals must include a casino, tourism attractions, hotels and meetings space.

Hokkaido has excluded a potential IR development from its 2021 budget.

Five contenders to the next phase of Nagasaki IR bid

In Nagasaki, meanwhile, all five contenders to partner with prefecture have qualified to progress to the next phase of the process.

The five groups are: a consortium led by Oshidori International Holdings Ltd; Casinos Austria International Japan; Current Group; the Niki Chau Fwu (Parkview) Group; and One Kyushu, a consortium between Tokyo-listed Pixel Companyz Inc and French gaming operator Groupe Partouche SA.

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