Japan’s Wakayama prefecture is to have an eight-strong panel of people – described as experts in relevant matters – in order to decide local public policy ground rules for its effort to get a casino resort set up in the prefecture.
According to information compiled by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the Wakayama expert panel will have its first meeting this summer and decide local rules on what is referred to as “implementation policy”.
Wakayama prefecture, which includes Wakayama city (pictured), is to establish a separate panel of experts for the process of selecting locally an operator – likely to be a consortium – for its casino play, according to information gathered by our correspondent. Such projects are referred to in Japan as integrated resorts or “IRs”.
Japan’s national government gets the ultimate say in where Japan’s first casino resorts can be located. The central authorities are due this summer to announce national public policy criteria for evaluating bids received from local governments and for selecting bids for actual development, according to information that emerged in late March.
Only a maximum of three casino resort licences will be permitted in the first phase of casino liberalisation in that country.
At the Japan Gaming Congress 2018, a conference held in Tokyo on Japan’s nascent industry, Wakayama prefecture’s governor, Yoshinobu Nisaka said a 40-hectare (98.8-acre) artificial island called Marina City – within the boundaries of Wakayama prefecture – had been earmarked for the authority’s bid.
The artificial island is being referred to currently on an English-language website promoting it, as “Wakayama Marina City”.
Wakayama city, the capital of Wakayama prefecture, is only 78 kilometres (48.5 miles) southwest of Osaka city, capital of Osaka prefecture.
Osaka city and prefecture have already declared themselves joint contenders for a casino resort. Osaka’s request-for-concept (RFC) application phase in its effort to identify parties interested in being commercial partners for hosting a casino resort, began on April 25 and ends on May 24.
Wakayama city and prefecture and Osaka city and prefecture are in the populous Kansai region of Japan’s largest island, Honshu.
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"We like Japan. We like all areas…but it is a matter of what the local government and the local people really want"
Ted Chan Ying Tat
Chief operating officer of Galaxy Entertainment Japan