The Chairman for American land-based casino operator Bally’s Corporation has reportedly poured cold water on a rumor that his company will soon be launching a bid to bring a gambling-friendly development to the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Soohyung Kim (pictured) disclosed that his firm is interested in having an integrated casino resort in Japan but will not be bidding for one of the three inaugural gambling licenses currently being put up for grabs by the Asian nation’s government. The source detailed that this revelation follows a Wednesday press conference in which officials from Fukuoka Prefecture announced that the company was about to enter this race in hopes of being granted permission to bring an around $4 billion Las Vegas-style venue to the jurisdiction of roughly 5.2 million people.
Previously known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated until undergoing a 2020 name-change, Bally’s Corporation is reportedly already responsible for 14 casinos in the United States including the giant Bally’s Atlantic City and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport properties. The operator has purportedly been on something of a buying spree of late courtesy of deals to acquire daily fantasy sports firm Monkey Knife Fight, online free-play games developer SportCaller, digital technology and services enterprise Bet.Works Corporation and British iGaming firm Gamesys Group after failing in its $90 million bid for the World Poker Tour (WPT) poker brand.
Kim reportedly told Inside Asian Gaming that he is currently on a fact-finding mission in Japan and has met with multiple developers in hopes of being able ‘to understand what the situation was on the ground’. However, the executive purportedly moreover disclosed that he had not called the Fukuoka Prefecture press conference and was unaware that his company would be implicated in the Kyushu jurisdiction’s potential casino plans.
Reportedly read a statement from Kim…
“This was the first time we were in Fukuoka Prefecture and was purely to understand where the process stands. There is no commitment around what we think, what project we would ultimately support or even what our involvement in that project would be. I think there are a lot of very interesting possibilities but we know there is very little time left.”
Japan is home to 126 million people and reportedly passed legislation in the summer of 2018 that is to see the federal government allow a trio of disparate communities to each build and run a large integrated casino resort featuring exhibition facilities, multiple hotels and expansive gaming floors. To be in the running for the right to run one of these three developments and interested operators are purportedly being obliged to partner with a specific jurisdiction and submit a final development plan to a panel of federal selectors in advance of an April 28 deadline.
As things currently stand and Nagasaki Prefecture, which is situated only about 93 miles from Fukuoka Prefecture, is reportedly a leader in this campaign as it has already partnered with the Casinos Austria International Japan Incorporated subordinate of Casinos Austria International in hopes of being given the green light to bring an integrated casino resort to its Huis Ten Bosch theme park. Other frontrunners purportedly include the giant city of Osaka in addition to Wakayama Prefecture, which have analogous plans involving operating partners MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Incorporated respectively.
Kim reportedly told Inside Asian Gaming…
“This is really groundwork that we are doing to see if we can pick up the process at a later date. I think this is just the beginning of exploring the process but we have not made any decision on whether we are ready to move or who our partners would be. We think it is an interesting situation where if you find the right Japanese partner and bring in international expertise from a brand like Bally’s Corporation, it has a lot of potential.”