Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment joins Oshidori for Nagasaki IR bid

| By Conor Mulheir
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has formed a partnership with Oshidori International Development GK, in a joint bid to acquire an integrated resort (IR) licence in the Nagasaki prefecture.

Oshidori is a Japanese company established for the purpose of developing an integrated resort in Sasebo City, Nagasaki. It is owned by investment business Oshidori International Holdings.

Through the partnership, IR developer and operator Mohegan said it aims to collaborate in developing a world-class IR, and also in creating a dynamic community for Nagasaki to become a premium travel destination and residential choice.

The upcoming IR project will be developed following the Nagasaki Prefecture’s bid selection process, which is projected to take place throughout the summer and autumn of 2021.

“We are proud to partner with MGE on this landmark development opportunity,” Alex Yemenidjian, president and chief executive of Oshidori, said.

“Through our joint bid, we aim to highlight the rich culture and diversity of the Nagasaki area, and look forward to the positive impact this project will have on the entire Kyushu region.”

Mario Kontomerkos, chief executive of Mohegan, said: “We are honored to work with Oshidori International and leverage their team’s unparalleled experience on this IR licence bid in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.”

Kontomerkos added that he believed the IR would benefit the whole island of Kyushu.

“Japan offers important development opportunities that will benefit the Kyushu economy,” he said. “Our growth strategy took into consideration the significant cross marketing opportunity between Project Inspire in Korea and Kyushu, Japan.”

“As operators of ten properties globally including one of the largest integrated resorts in the western hemisphere, we are eager to bring our expertise to this venture.”

A law allowing for the development of integrated resort casinos in Japan was approved in July 2018 despite strong opposition in the country’s parliament.

Regulations for the development of IRs were brought forward in March 2019, including restrictions on hotel size, conference facilities and exhibition centres, and a rule stipulating that gambling facilities must not cover more than 3% of the property’s total floor space.

A public consultation on the regulations was subsequently launched in September 2019, allowing people to submit their comments on the suggested controls.

Responding to a survey launched in June 2020, 89.4% of businesses who were considering bidding for one of Japan’s three IR licences said their work related to the process had been impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

However, two-thirds said they remained committed to the project and that there was no change in their interest in the scheme despite the disruption. A further 12% said they were more interested in competing for a licence than prior to the pandemic.

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