Now that the mayor of Sasebo, Japan, Norio Tomonaga, has completed his rounds and thanked everyone for re-electing him to his fourth term, it’s time to get down to business. The city in Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture is a strong contender for one of the first integrated resort (IR) licenses to be issued by the country and the mayor has previously stated that campaigning for the casino resort is high on his priority list. Local businesses are joining the effort, as well, launching a new drive that is expected to kick into high gear starting this September.
A statement issued by Sasebo’s business council, along with the Nagasaki Marine IR Promotion Council, announces the new lobbying efforts, indicating that members from both the private and the public sectors are joining forces in order to push for the IR. One of the first examples of the dedicated effort will be a seminar designed to help local businesses draft business plans to align their efforts with those of the resorts.
That seminar is expected to attract between 50 and 100 entrepreneurs in the area, and will be led by businesses that are already working with international casino resort operators. The industry-leading speakers will help the businesses design plans to interact and engage with those operators. The names of those expected to speak at the seminar have not yet been released.
Next on the list will be a digital presentation created by the Sasebo alliance. The presentation will be directed toward operators and will provide detailed information on how they can easily and professionally interact with the local businesses. Among the items to be showcased will be local training, staffing capabilities and produce and service procurement.
The completion of national elections in Japan last month now allows lawmakers to continue working on how the IR industry is going to be built. With pro-IR legislators controlling the government, facilitating the implementation of new regulations shouldn’t be overly problematic. However, there is a lot of work still remaining to be done and, despite plans to issue three licenses in the first phase, there has been unofficial talk by some industry analysts that only two IRs will be approved in the near term – possibly within a year – with the third being approved possibly in 2021.