The gaming arm of the federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe has reportedly established an office on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in an attempt to aid its efforts at securing one of the nation’s three coming licenses to build and operate an integrated casino resort.
According to a report from GGRAsia, Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is hoping to be given permission to spend up to $4.5 billion in order to open a large casino resort provisionally named Inspire Entertainment Resort Hokkaido near the port city of Tomakomai. But, this scheme is purportedly set to face competition from numerous other operators as well as up to eight rival communities including the giant cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama.
Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of last year that is to see the nation of some 126 million people offer up a trio of casino licenses. In order to be selected as a host for one of these coming facilities, which are locally known as integrated casino resorts, communities are being required to partner with an experienced foreign operator before submitting their final plans to the central government in Tokyo.
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment already operates southeastern Connecticut’s giant Mohegan Sun venue as well as the Mohegan Sun Pocono property near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, while additionally managing similar facilities in the states of Louisiana, Washington and New Jersey.
The firm is moreover hoping to open its $1.6 billion Project Inspire integrated casino resort in South Korea by the end of 2022 and will now reportedly be using its Hokkaido office in order to solicit support from local government and business leaders.
GGRAsia reported that Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is not the only American firm that is interested in bringing an integrated casino resort to Hokkaido as Hard Rock International Incorporated has also submitted plans for a Tomakomai facility. However, this field is not purportedly as large as it once was following the late-August decision from Caesars Entertainment Corporation to abandon its Japanese hopes in order to concentrate on its proposed $17.3 billion merger with Nevada rival Eldorado Resorts Incorporated.