Miyazaki drops out of IR race

The shape of the IR Implementation Bill has claimed its first victim as Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono has concluded that there is no point in his sparsely-populated prefecture attempting to join the IR hunt.

In his regular press conference on Tuesday, Governor Kono cited two reasons for giving up the notion of hosting an IR. First of all, with only three municipalities to be selected nationally, it would be unlikely that his remote prefecture would win one of these licenses.

The bigger reason cited by Governor Kono is that he understands the national government has designed the legislation to favor the major urban markets: “The sort of IR foreseen by the bill is considerably large in scale, which is beyond the scope of what our prefecture could do.”

Governor Kono did not rule out the possibility that Miyazaki might reconsider its stance in future years. He does not object to the basic concept of hosting an IR in the prefecture, but judges that the terms of the legislation do not match the local requirements. This was the first occasion upon which Governor Kono made explicit his thoughts on hosting an IR public.

Last November, Sega Sammy Holdings gave the governor a 90-minute tour of its Paradise City IR in Incheon, South Korea. Sega Sammy is owner of the Phoenix Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki city, and appeared to be lobbying Kono to support the development of an IR at that location.

Hajime Satomi, president of Sega Sammy Holdings, has been repeating since at least 2012 that he expected IRs to become the future “mainstay business” of his firm.

Contacted by Asia Gaming Brief, a spokesperson for Sega Sammy Holdings refrained from making any direct comments about Governor Kono’s declaration, but also added, “We think that the consensus of local residents should be reflected in the future vision of municipalities for their development and revitalization. The introduction of IRs should be one part of the discussion. We will maintain our efforts to enter the IR business in Japan.”

More news from this jurisdiction

JapanFriday, Apr 20, 2018

It has been revealed that the IR Implementation Bill will also include a provision to forbid certain public officials from engaging in casino gambling.

JapanThursday, Apr 19, 2018

Konami shares fell 5 percent in Tokyo trading after the ending of a 10-year partnership with football association UEFA.

JapanThursday, Apr 19, 2018

Police in Osaka claim that illegal gambling is on the rise, with some illicit establishments managing to clear annual sales well in excess of US$1 million. Meanwhile, the Tokyo metropolitan police last week busted an illegal casino in the prominent Shinjuku Kabukicho district which had been operating for about six months. Most of these establishments have links to organized crime, the yakuza.

JapanMonday, Apr 16, 2018

The latest newspaper public opinion poll holds more bad news for IR advocates, but some observers suggest that the polls don’t mean what they appear to mean.

JapanMonday, Apr 16, 2018

While many industry analysts continue to assume that either Tokyo or Yokohama will pursue an IR bid, the political realities of Japanese local communities seem to indicate otherwise.

JapanFriday, Apr 13, 2018

Casino operators that are found to have obtained their business licenses through fraudulent means will be fined up to JPY500 million (US$4.7 million), under new legislation.

JapanThursday, Apr 12, 2018

In spite of the widespread view that the terms of the IR Implementation Bill are shaping up to be more favorable to major urban markets rather than regional locations, Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is again reaffirming the “blank slate” position which she first adopted over a year ago, in January 2017.