Japan’s Wakayama prefecture is to have 14 public hearings between November 25 and December 5, to discuss and explain to local people the draft of its Integrated Resort District Development Plan, and related matters.
The series of meetings was announced on Tuesday. In Japan, large-scale casino complexes with facilities for tourism and meetings, are known as integrated resorts (IRs).
At a meeting on October 8 of the Wakayama prefectural assembly’s IR special committee, representatives of the prefectural government said that Clairvest Neem Ventures KK – the umbrella for the consortium selected by Wakayama to develop and run a casino resort there – would need by November 25 to show the probability of it being able to set up a special-purpose company and to be able to raise funds for the project.
If not, the prefecture would not proceed with the process of applying to the national government for the right to host a casino resort, the committee was told, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s correspondent in Japan.
United States-based casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc – a brand long interested in having a presence in Asia – announced on September 29 it would join Clairvest Neem Ventures’ consortium. But Caesars Entertainment said it would have “no capital commitment”.
At October 8’s committee meeting, all the assembly members who spoke asked about the actual status and the capability of the consortium, including its ability to raise JPY470 billion (US$4.1 billion) for the scheme (pictured in an artist’s rendering).
The Japanese government opened on October 1 the application period for local authorities to pitch as host for a casino resort, and announced the weighting it will give when scoring such requests. The application window runs until April 28 next year.
Under the liberalisation programme, up to three resorts will be permitted nationally. Currently, only two other local communities aside from Wakayama – namely Osaka and Nagasaki – are in the running for respectively hosting a large-scale IR.
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