The Wakayama prefectural government in Japan announced on Thursday that it has signed a basic agreement with the consortium led by Clairvest Neem Ventures Co Ltd, for a casino resort development, or integrated resort (IR) as they are known in that country.
It was the first such agreement regarding a potential IR project to be signed by a local government in Japan. Local authorities interested in hosting an IR 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 relevant legislation framework.
Wakayama’s agreement addresses topics regarding the establishment of an IR company, confirms the probity procedures undertaken by the consortium, and mentions procedures relating to maintaining the consortium’s ethical integrity, according to GGRAsia’s correspondent in Japan.
The prefectural government will also require the consortium to refine its proposal, enhance its implementation plan, and collaborate with Wakayama local companies.
Clairvest Neem Ventures is a subsidiary of Clairvest Group Inc, a Canada-based private-equity management firm. The Japan venture led by the firm, was confirmed in July by the Wakayama government as the business partner for the prefecture’s tilt at hosting a casino resort.
Clairvest’s proposal for the Wakayama IR scheme (pictured in an artist’s rendering) is estimated to have an “initial investment” worth JPY470 billion (US$4.3 billion). According to corporate materials published on the prefecture’s website, the project would have 569,000 square metres (6.12 million sq feet) in gross floor area. The scheme is to be built on an artificial island called Marina City.
French casino operator Groupe Partouche SA, and AMSE Resorts Japan Co Ltd – the latter a company linked to former casino executive William Weidner – are partners of Clairvest in its Wakayama scheme, according to a Clairvest announcement made in June.
The authorities in Wakayama have stated that they would apply to the national government for what it termed certification as a casino resort host area, by April 28, 2022.
Clairvest was the only contender for the prefecture’s request-for-proposal process, after a notice of withdrawal from Suncity Holdings Japan Co Ltd, a firm linked to entrepreneur Alvin Chau Cheok Wa, boss of privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group Ltd.
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