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Possible postponement for Japan’s IR projects

Kazuyoshi Akaba, Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, announced there may be changes to the timetable regarding casino resorts in the country. The consideration is due to the ongoing effects the pandemic has on the prefectures where IRs could be built and possible overseas partners.  

Osaka

The certification application period was originally scheduled between January and July 2021 but Akaba said, “Some IR operators who have partnered with local governments are in a difficult situation due to the impact of the coronavirus, and there have been opinions saying that the future is uncertain.”

The four locations for IRs are Yokohama, Osaka, Nagasaki and Wakayama, but the prefectures had to delay request for proposal (RFP) applications due to the virus, as well as national government’s reluctance to publish the basic policy for IRs, which halt the application processes. Local governments and their select partners have the first half of 2021 to apply for the right to build a casino.

The IRs remain a costly project, and many of the possible partners have experienced drops in revenue, and several have already withdrawn from the project: Las Vegas Sands stopped pursuing Yokohama’s IR back in May, while Wynn Resorts are also ceasing efforts, stating IR is not the company’s focus at the moment.


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