Nagasaki withdrawal was Oshidoris decision: Mohegan

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Nagasaki, Japan


US tribal gaming firm Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment says the decision to withdraw from Nagasakis IR process last week was made solely by its partner, Oshidori International Development.

Oshidori, at the time one of three remaining contenders to win selection as Nagasakis preferred partner, dramatically withdrew from the process last Friday, citing developmental and operational rules imposed by Nagasaki Prefecture and suggesting the RFP process had not been conducted in an ethical manner.

As reported by Inside Asian Gaming on Tuesday, Nagasaki has since named Casinos Austria International as the successful bidder, finishing ahead of Oshidori in second and NIKI Chyau (Parkview) Group in third under the prefectures RFP scoring system.

Mohegan, which had previously targeted an IR license in Hokkaido, announced in January it was partnering with Oshidori for a tilt at the Nagasaki license. But speaking during the companys 2Q21 earnings call overnight (Asia time), Mohegan President and CEO Ray Pineault said the decision to withdraw was all Oshidoris and would not impact the group significantly moving forward.

You may have recently read that Oshidori has withdrawn its bid for an IR in Nagasaki, Pineault said.

This decision was made solely by Oshidori and does not have any significant financial impact on us, as we were providing operational expertise and assistance for the RFP process and did not anticipate any meaningful cash flows or expenses related to this project.

Although the company did not provide any details on what this might mean for its long-term Japan ambitions, it did provide a brief update on its Inspire Korea project in Incheon, South Korea, currently stalled due to COVID-19 and the search for final financing.

Pineault said Mohegan has made meaningful strides towards completing financing, adding the company remains optimistic that we will be able to ramp up construction later this year.

CFO Carol Anderson added, The best way to characterize the current state is that we have made several significant steps forward in the process since the last time we gathered together, continuing to work through all the necessary documentation and approvals that are needed to complete that financing transaction, and we remain optimistic about the ability to close that in the near term.

Set to come in at around US$1.6 billion, Mohegan has previously outlined that Inspire Koreas Phase 1 cost would include US$300 million from its own coffers plus US$900 million from a consortium of blue chip Korean institutions, US$200 million worth of infrastructure and improvements by Incheon International Airport Corp and US$200 million via loans.