Connecticut tribe reaffirms interest in opening a Japanese casino

The tribal operator behind Connecticut’s giant Foxwoods Resort Casino has reportedly revealed that it is still hoping to win the right to build and run one of a trio of integrated casino resorts that could begin appearing across Japan as early as 2021.

Tomakomai plan:

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has its hopes set on bringing a Las Vegas-style gambling development complete with a casino alongside other amenities such as hotels, shops and conference facilities to the small Hokkaido port city of Tomakomai.

Rappaport passing slows progress:

However, the federally-recognized tribe is reportedly facing stiff competition from up to six rival operators while its original plan suffered a severe setback in June following the unexpected death of Felix Rappaport, President and Chief Executive Officer for Foxwoods Resort Casino. Rappaport was said to have been leading its Japanese campaign.

Asia Gaming Brief reported that local firm Gaming Capital Management Incorporated subsequently began handling the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Japanese efforts 7BALL on an informal basis while Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler stepped in to fill Rappaport’s shoes as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for the aboriginal entity’s Connecticut operations.

Smaller development:

Mike Tanji, Chairman for Tokyo-headquartered Gaming Capital Management Incorporated reportedly told Asia Gaming Brief that the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation plans to establish a Japanese presence in the near future and is interested in building and operating a small regional integrated casino resort in Tomakomai.

The executive reported declared that the city of 174,000 sits atop the operator’s wish list because it ‘is quite close to Connecticut’ in terms of the immediate physical environment and local political atmosphere. He moreover purportedly stated that the plan to open a smaller gambling facility in a largely rural location is destined to be more attractive to the central government, which is hoping such venues will help regional economies to develop in order to create a more diverse society.

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Nagasaki possibility:

Should Tomakomai prove to be a non-runner, Tanji reportedly detailed that the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation may look at the possibility of bringing an integrated casino resort to the much larger southern city of Nagasaki. But, he purportedly cautioned that both of these plans are far from a sure thing with the operator additionally said to have concerns about some of the specific requirements possibly set to be included as part of the legalizing Integrated Resort Implementation Bill.