In Japan, the southern city of Kitakyushu has reportedly ruled itself out of the race for one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resorts despite apparently having attracted backing from three sets of private investor groups.
According to a Friday report from GGRAsia, the mayor for the community of some 940,000 people, Kenji Kitahashi (pictured), detailed that his administration would not be looking to secure one of the lucrative licenses due to the lack of a suitable site as well as a dearth of public support. The experienced politician also purportedly cited time constraints as well as the risk factors associated with participating in any such a scheme as reasons behind the decision.
Located on the northern tip of Kyushu along the shores of the Kanmon Strait, Kitakyushu had reportedly been investigating the possibility of bidding for the right to bring a Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort to a dockland site adjacent to Japan Railways Group’s giant Kokura Station. Such a facility would have purportedly been only about a 45-minute high-speed train journey from Fukuoka International Airport and within easy reach of other nearby cities such as Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Oita.
GGRAsia reported that possibility of bringing a large-scale integrated casino resort to Kitakyushu had engendered support from a trio of investing conglomerates located in Macau, Hong Kong and the United States respectively that was said to be worth in the region of ¥440 billion ($4.05 billion). However, this backing would have still purportedly left such a project short of the government-mandated ¥1.08 trillion ($10 billion) investment minimum with only about a year in which to secure the balance.
Kitakyushu furthermore sits only about 113 miles from the community of Sasebo, which has long been pushing for permission to bring a large integrated casino resort to a 74-acre site adjacent to its Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch theme park. The Nagasaki prefecture city reportedly received three submissions earlier this month as part of the request for concept (RFC) phase of its scheme and is now looking these over in advance of initiating the more formal request for proposal (RFP) stage.