The Japanese national government’s deadline for prefectures to submit casino-resort proposals passed at 6.15pm local time on Thursday, with no fresh applications, GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent has confirmed.
Hirofumi Yoshimura, governor of Osaka prefecture, and Kengo Oishi, governor of Nagasaki prefecture, had separately affirmed on Tuesday (April 26) the submission by each place of an Integrated Resort (IR) District Development Plan to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Up to three casino resorts can be permitted nationally under Japan’s existing liberalisation programme.
There is speculation in Japan that – because the quota of resorts permitted under the liberalisation programme exceeds the current number of applicant prefectures – a fresh round of applications might be opened soon, according to information collected by GGRAsia’s correspondent.
Regulations governing the selection process make no mention of a deadline for the national government to reach a decision on submitted applications. Industry expectations are that a final decision could be made in the autumn of 2022.
A third contender in the initial round – Wakayama prefecture – dropped out on April 20, after a plenary session of the prefectural assembly rejected its IR plan.
Wakayama’s governor, Yoshinobu Nisaka, has indicated he thinks the prefecture will try again, in likelihood with a different private-sector partner.
“The prefectural assembly voted against the plan. But most of them are in favour of IR and just against the plan and the group behind it,” said the governor, in comments to the media at his regular briefing on April 26.
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