Norio Tomonaga, mayor of Sasebo city, Nagasaki Prefecture, visited Las Vegas on Monday as part of a week-long official tour of the United States.
Sasebo is the location of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, the proposed site for Nagasaki’s IR.
Mayor Tomonaga was accompanied by a dozens-strong delegation of city council members and prominent citizens, and the Las Vegas stop was expected to include visits to at least two IR operators whose executives had previously visited Sasebo.
The Sasebo city office was not able to confirm to Asia Gaming Brief which operators the mayor met with on Monday, but they did reveal the fact that a total of thirteen IR operators have so far made visits to Sasebo to examine the potential site of the Nagasaki IR. Among these are the US-based companies Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Boyd Gaming, Hard Rock International, Foxwoods Resort Casino, and Rush Street Gaming.
Among these, the first three are companies are headquartered in the Las Vegas area.
Caesars and Wynn did not respond to AGB’s inquiries, but Boyd Gaming’s David Strow, vice-president of corporate communications, explained that while his company had indeed previously explored the possibility of entering the Japanese market, they have since decided against any such participation and are no longer exploring IR opportunities in the country.
The main purpose of Mayor Tomonaga’s US tour was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sasebo’s sister city agreement with Albuquerque, New Mexico.