French casino operator Groupe Partouche has joined a new consortium looking to secure one of Japan’s integrated resorts licences, weeks after pulling out of a similar agreement with Oshidori International Holdings.
Partouche has now joined a consortium led by Pixel Companyz, a Japanese conglomerate with interests in renewable energy, financial technology and gaming technology. It buys and sells casino gaming machines, as well as operating a B2B technology solution, the Pixel Casino Platform.
The deal, Pixel says, marks only the second time a local Japanese business has partnered a “proven international gaming operator”. Partouche will work with the business, and its unnamed consortium partners to plan, develop, and hopefully operate a integrated resort facility that will aim to highlight local tourism assets, food culture and brands of the local area.
It follows Pixel striking a partnership with TTL Resorts, a company specialising in data analysis and investment in the gaming industry.
“Pixel Companyz aims to connect Japan to the world and showcase the best of the country by forming this consortium and deeply rooting ourselves into the Japanese IR industry,” Pixel Companyz chief executive Hiroaki Yoshida commented.
News of the partnership comes after Partouche pulled out of its previous IR partnership, with Japanese holding company Oshidori International Holdings. At the time, both partners said a difference of “vision” had prompted an end to the partnership.
It remains unclear when the process to select three sites, and three operating partners, for IR locations and licences will move forward. The basic policy establishing a framework for the selection process that was due to pass in the first half of the year is yet to be adopted, due to lawmakers’ focus shifting the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
This in turn means the deadline for potential host cities to submit their proposals for IR development looks to be pushed back, with these locations yet to select partners for the project.
Last week Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Gaming, which has partnered Betclic Everest Group shareholder Société des Bains de Mer for a resort, reaffirmed its commitment to the process despite the delays. Others, such as Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands, however, have announced they will no longer compete for a licence.