The Japanese prefecture of Wakayama (pictured) has confirmed to GGRAsia that it has received a notice of withdrawal from Suncity Holdings Japan Co Ltd regarding the local government’s request-for-proposal (RFP) process on hosting a casino resort.
That leaves currently only one suitor in the running to be Wakayama’s private-sector partner on such a scheme.
The prefecture said in the Thursday email, it had received a withdrawal letter from the Suncity entity, which is linked to entrepreneur Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, boss of privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group Ltd.
The message from the Wakayama authorities reiterated that Clairvest Neem Ventures, a unit of Canada-based private-equity management firm Clairvest Group, remained in the race as private-sector partner for an integrated resort, or IR, as such schemes are known in Japan.
The prefecture confirmed that Clairvest Neem was now the only RFP participant for the prefecture.
Local authorities interested in hosting a casino resort must first select a commercial partner, and then apply to the national government for the right to host such a facility. Up to three resorts will be permitted in Japan under the legalisation framework.
A Wednesday statement in Japanese, on the website of Suncity Holdings Japan, quoted Mr Chau as saying the decision to withdraw from the race in Wakayama was made after “careful consideration,” and was linked to the “enormous impact” on the casino industry of Covid-19, and the fact that “uncertainty” was likely to remain in the business sector around the world, “for a long time”.
Mr Chau added he had “sincere gratitude” for the “kindness” shown by people in Wakayama during Suncity Holdings Japan’s engagement with the prefecture.
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