Japan’s Wakayama prefecture is to conduct two public hearings and also 14 briefing sessions open to local residents, on the draft of its District Development Plan regarding an integrated resort (IR), as large-scale casino complexes are known in that nation.
The prefecture gave the news on Friday. April 28 is the closing date for local governments to make a submission to the national authorities for the right to host an IR.
Public hearings are required by the legislation covering IRs. Such hearings have to be conducted before the prefecture submits its plan to the Japanese government.
According to Wakayama’s draft District Development Plan, its intended private-sector partner, Clairvest Neem Ventures KK, is responsible for raising the JPY470-billion (US$4.09-billion) cost of the scheme.
The draft plan states the cost will be divided into JPY145 billion in equity. Clairvest Neem Ventures and Canada-based Clairvest Group Inc would shoulder 55 percent of total equity. United States-based casino group Caesars Entertainment Inc, with 5 percent of the equity, is also part of the core bloc of investors.
A September announcement on Wakayama by Caesars Entertainment said Mario Ho Yau Kwan, a son of Stanley Ho Hung Sun, the former monopolist of the Macau gaming industry and founder of current Macau operator SJM Holdings Ltd, was part of the consortium.
He was described at the time as an “eSports and entertainment entrepreneur,” and a director of Clairvest Neem Ventures and “chairman and co-CEO of NIP Group, a multinational eSports organisation”.
Minority equity investors in a Wakayama scheme, with 40 percent, would be major Japanese companies and other entities, but no names have been mentioned in the plan.
The debt element would cover JPY325-billion of the costs, and be arranged by Credit Suisse Group AG and “others”.
Clairvest Neem Ventures is stated to be 100-percent owned by an entity called Pacific Ventures Group.
Currently, Nagasaki and Osaka are also likely to submit a respective application for an IR. Up to three resorts will be allowed in Japan, under the current framework for liberalisation.
On Saturday, Wakayama prefecture held its third meeting of a panel of six university academics that is advising the local authority on the IR policy. The meeting was in private. According to reports, no significant objection was raised by the panel regarding the plan.
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