Japan’s Wakayama prefecture confirmed on Friday (January 15) that no new suitors interested in being private-sector partner for the local government’s tilt at a casino resort, had come forward to make submissions for its pushed-back request-for-proposal (RFP) phase.
The interested parties that did make submissions by the time of Friday’s RFP revised deadline, were the same entities that had already shown an appetite for involvement and had in May been declared by the prefecture as qualified to take part in its RFP.
They were: Clairvest Neem Ventures and Suncity Holdings Japan Co Ltd, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent. Clairvest Neem Ventures is a unit of Canada-based private-equity management firm Clairvest Group. The other suitor is a Japan unit linked to privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group.
Wakayama had in November stated that January 15 would be its new submission deadline for an RFP regarding an integrated resort (IR), as large-scale casino complexes with associated tourism facilities, are known in Japan.
The new deadline was nearly three months later than had been previously flagged.
Wakayama’s governor, Yoshinobu Nisaka, has previously said the prefecture (pictured) had assurances at national-government level that Wakayama’s proximity to the metropolis of Osaka – considered by some commentators as a front runner for an IR – would not weigh against Wakayama when it came to national-level assessments of projects.
Local governments must first find a private-sector partner, and then apply to the central authorities for the right to have one. Up to three such venues will be permitted in Japan to coincide with the opening up of the market.
The global Covid-19 crisis helped to push back by nine months – to October 2021 – the timetable under which Japan’s national authorities will start accepting bids from local governments interested in hosting a casino resort.
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"The initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 percent to 90 percent. But that rate now might stand at just 50 percent to 60 percent... following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases”
Andy Wu Keng Kuong
President of the Macau Travel Industry Council