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Nagasaki postpones RFP as PM’s resignation throws national policy into question

Nagasaki has announced that it will suspend its operator recruitment process regarding development of an integrated resort due to ongoing delays in release of the national government’s Basic Policy for IRs and the resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The original intention was to kick off the Request for Proposal (RFP) process during the summer, but the impact of the coronavirus has seen operator candidates push for postponement.

The national government had planned to announce its basic policy in January 2020 but this was delayed due to the 500.com corruption scandal and COVID-19. There are also proposals to postpone the area certification application period from local governments, currently scheduled for January to July 2021.

Nagasaki prefecture announced a draft of its own implementation policy in April which outlined its plan for an IR at Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo city. The recruitment of operators for maintenance and operation of the facility was intended for spring to summer.

The RFP should have started in July, but was postponed while the local government waited for the national Basic Policy.

Last Friday, Governor Hodo Nakamura and Mayor Norio Tomonaga discussed how they would respond and agreed to postpone the recruitment, subsequently releasing a statement that read, “We will consider the overall trend for the country and operator opinions to determine an appropriate time for the recruitment.”

Mayor Tomonaga of Sasebo city said in a regular press conference on Monday, “The situation is chaotic because of the Prime Minister’s resignation. I would like to start as soon as the situation allows.”

Three operators – Oshidori International Holdings, Casinos Austria and Current Corp – have stated their intention to participate in Nagasaki’s RFP.

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