Get Nice teams with Shotoku Rinaldo for IR bid

Hong Kong-listed Get Nice Holdings, the former owner of Macau’s Waldo casino, has formed a joint venture with Shitoku Rinaldo Corp. to bid for a licence in Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan.

The company said it signed a memorandum of understanding for the venture on Jan. 16 with the purpose of developing an integrated resort. Shotoku has interests from healthcare, to medical equipment to gaming related businesses.

In a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Get Nice said the IR would be located in the Makinorhara-Shi Municipality of Shizuoka Prefecture.

“The IR project is featuring hotels, casinos, restaurants, shops, entertainment facilities and convention centers with approximately 400,000 square meters total floor area,” the statement said.

The company said to its knowledge, it is the only candidate from the province to be chosen to present their IR project to the central government.

“To the best of the directors’ knowledge, information and belief having made all reasonable enquiry, the election committee of Integrated Resort office of Makinohara-Shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan has officially issued the letter of confirmation to SRC on 3 October 2018 and SRC is the only candidate nominated by the committee to submit and present the IR Project (including a casino business) in Makinohara-Shi to the state government of Japan,” the statement said.

According to publicly available information in Japanese, the Shotoku Rinaldo Corporation was incorporated in Yokohama in August 2018 with JPY20 million (about $185,000) in capital, just several months before its apparent agreement with the group in Makinohara city. Tamotsu Suzuki is identified as the company’s main representative, but the company has no website or publicly-revealed telephone number.

Adding additional credence to the Hong Kong filing is the fact that there is a website is under construction by a group calling itself the “Makinohara IR Council.”

While most of the website is hidden from public view, some images can nevertheless be accessed which identify Takayoshi Kusuda as the committee chairman. This is apparently the same individual who is managing director of a local company called Nanen Kako.

The Makinohara IR bid, should it happen, would appear to put a keen focus on how an IR can serve as an evacuation center in the event of natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis. The Makinohara IR Council predicts that it will create new employment for about 2,000 to 3,000 people.

The partly-hidden website also confirms that the Shotoku Rinaldo Corporation has already been selected as their IR operator partner.

The Makinohara IR Council would appear to be a private group of businesspeople. Asia Gaming Brief’s efforts to reach the municipal government were not immediately successful, so it is not yet clear whether or not they have local political backing.

As for the prefectural government, Governor Heita Kawakatsu spoke about the issue briefly at a January 4 press conference. He indicated that he would let interested local communities take the initiative if they wished, but he wasn’t proactively planning an IR bid.

Galaxy Entertainment Group bought the former Grand Waldo resort in 2013 for HKD3.25 billion ($419 million)