The Integrated Resorts (IR) Promotion Office of Japan’s Wakayama prefecture says it plans to launch a request-for-proposal (RFP) process “soon after” the national authorities announce the so-called “basic policy” on integrated resorts. The prefectural government does not plan to conduct a request-for-concept (RFC) process, the office told GGRAsia.
The basic policy is supposed, among other things, to set out the criteria the central authorities will use for choosing where such casino resorts – up to three in the first phase – can be located. A number of leading media outlets in Japan reported in May that the national government had decided to delay the release of the basic policy for the development of casino properties in the country.
Japan’s IR Implementation Act, passed in July last year, stipulates that the basic policy for the development of integrated resorts should be put forward within two years.
Those local governments qualified to apply to the national government for permission to host an IR – namely prefectures and ordinance-level cities – need to team with private-sector partners prior making their bid to the national government. But they can only do so after Japan’s central government announces the details of the IR basic policy.
Japanese media outlet Sankei Shimbun reported earlier this month – citing unnamed sources – that the national authorities planned to have the “basic policy” on IRs ready by March-end next year.
Wakayama prefectural government has been active in pursuing the opportunity to host a casino resort. Within the prefecture, a 40-hectare (98.8-acre) artificial island known as Marina City has already been earmarked for the local authority’s plan to host an IR.
A first meeting of a so-called committee of experts was held in Wakayama (pictured) last week, the Integrated Resorts (IR) Promotion Office confirmed to GGRAsia. The panel will seek opinions and debate strategies in order to formulate the prefectural government’s plans to host a casino resort.
Other Japanese prefectures have already conducted their respective RFC processes. Osaka, for instance, has gone ahead with a request-for-concept phase with international investors even though that basic aspect of national policy has yet to be decided.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein suggested in a note last week that a Japanese casino industry made of two major casino resorts and a regional property could eventually generate gross gaming revenue (GGR) of US$7 billion to US$8 billion per year.
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