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Japan’s prefectures with only one IR partner remain optimistic

The Wakayama prefecture in Japan may withdraw from the integrated resort (IR) race if its remaining partner, Clairvest, is deemed unsuitable.

Wakayama

"It is not ideal that there is only one company and we just choose them or don’t,” said the prefecture’s Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka. “If it is very unlikely that the area development plan we propose to the national Government will pass, then we will not select this operator.”

Inside Asian Gaming reported that Wakayama was due to name its official IR partner back in April, but the decision was delayed, with one of the potential operators, Suncity Group, withdrawing from the prefecture’s IR race.

Wakayama’s selection committee will review Clairvest’s proposal and is expected to announce its decision in a few weeks. But the Governor noted that if the company is found unfit, it would push back the prefecture’s IR plans by a few years. Additionally, the IR would create employment and income for Wakayama.

Another prefecture with only one remaining partner, Osaka, remains hopeful about its IR. Director of the Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau, Hiroshi Mizohata, stated the Osaka IR could open its doors in 2027.

He predicts that in 2022, tourism will reach pre-pandemic levels, and in 2023 the construction for the 2025 World Expo venue can begin; the IR could then see its opening a few years after that.

He added that the prefecture’s IR operator will be selected in September and Osaka’s local Government will then work with the partner on an area development plan. The director also noted that Osaka’s plan for its IR hasn’t changed, and the casino complex is expected to be built in Yumeshima Island.

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