Oshidori International exits Japanese casino race, citing serious ethical irregularities

Oshidori International exits Japanese casino race, citing serious ethical irregularities

Oshidori International Holdings Limited has confirmed that it pulled out of race for one of three integrated casino resort licenses in Japan. Hong Kong-headquartered Oshidori International, which is essentially an investment company engaged in the provision of financial services like asset management, margin financing, and underwriting, revealed that it decided to withdraw from the race because of unreasonable rules and serious ethical irregularities in the bidding process.

The company announced its exit from the race as local officials are accessing bids from the companies that aspire to get a gaming license to build and operate a Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort in the country. The company stressed that it decided to exit after encountering several incidents pointing to serious ethical irregularities in the request for proposal process.

Announcing its exit, the company said, “Oshidori International has encountered several incidents that make it question whether there have been serious ethical irregularities in the request for proposal process and it is only interested in participating in a process that has the highest integrity and that is professional, transparent and based on merit.”

Oshidori International was being envisioned for a gaming venue in the Asian country’s Nagasaki Prefecture. The southern Kyushu jurisdiction has plans to develop a 74-acre plot of land into a massive gambling & entertainment property. The land is located next to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park.

Following the exit of Oshidori International, only two runners, viz. European gambling giant Casinos Austria International and Japanese consortium The Niki & Chyau Fwu Group, are left in the race to bring casino gambling to the jurisdiction of roughly 1.3 million people.

Oshidori International is not the only entity that has pulled out of the casino license race in Japan. Japanese government’s longer than expected process of issuing licenses have discouraged several potential operators, forcing some of them to withdraw from the race. In addition to last year’s pandemic-induced adverse conditions, mayoral politics and stern opposition from locals continue to be major hurdles, causing more delays.

Only a handful of companies/operators are there in the race now. MGM Resorts is the only bidder in Osaka, while Canada-based private equity firm Clairvest Group is the only bidder in Wakayama. Melco is the only operator competing against a rival. It is competing with Genting Singapore to win one of the three gaming license for developing and operating a Las Vegas-style integrated resort casino in Yokohama.