The government on Wednesday rejected a plan to open a casino resort in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, amid doubts about the feasibility of its funding.

The plan for the so-called integrated resort had been under review by the government since April, following the approval of a similar project in Osaka.

It was estimated that the project in Nagasaki at the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch seaside resort would draw 8.4 million visitors annually, bringing 330 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in economic benefits to the southwestern Japan region.

File photo shows the Huis Ten Bosch resort in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture in November 2022. (Kyodo)

Government approval is required to open a casino in Japan, among a myriad of other steps, including obtaining a license.

An expert panel under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism makes decisions based on a casino resort's ability to boost visitors from overseas, its economic benefits and measures against gambling addiction.

The plan for Nagasaki Prefecture had remained under review after approval was handed down in April for the construction in Osaka of what will be Japan's first casino resort.

The integrated resort will be built on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay. It is expected to attract about 20 million visitors annually and bring 1.14 trillion yen in annual economic benefits to the region.

The total price tag of the Osaka IR project is estimated at 1.27 trillion yen, with the resort slated to open around the fall of 2030.

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