Japan’s Wakayama prefecture has pushed back by almost three months its deadline for request-for-proposal (RFP) submissions from private-sector, would-be partners for its tilt at having a casino resort.
Such RFP submissions must now be made by January 15 next year, versus the earlier deadline of October 19 this year, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
That and other revisions to Wakayama’s timetable reflect the changes flagged to the national government’s schedule for the opening of a window whereby local governments must apply to the central government for the right to host such a resort.
The global Covid-19 crisis had helped to push back by nine months – to October 2021 – the timetable under which the national authorities will start accepting bids from local governments interested in hosting a casino resort.
Three such venues will be permitted in Japan in a first phase of market liberalisation.
On October 9, the Wakayama authorities has already flagged a delay in the process regarding an integrated resort (IR), as large-scale casino resorts with tourism facilities are known in that country.
Other adjustments to Wakayama’s timetable as announced on Friday were for selection of a private-sector operating partner by spring 2021, rather than January 2021; and the opening of any Wakayama IR in spring 2026, rather than within financial year 2024 as flagged previously.
The prefecture also made other minor revisions to its plans, including for countermeasures against infectious disease. The latter was also added to the revised national IR policy, as announced in early October.
On May 14, Wakayama prefecture announced that – as of that date – two applicants had qualified to participate in its RFP.
They were Suncity Group Holdings Japan Co Ltd, and Clairvest Neem Ventures. The former is a Japan unit linked to privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group. The latter is a unit of Canada-based private-equity management firm Clairvest Group.
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