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Japan – Wakayama will be the first prefecture to name its chosen operator

By - 16 April 2021

Wakayama will be the first Japanese prefecture to name its chosen IR casino operator, confirming spring as the time when a decision will be announced.

Only two groups are in the running; Suncity Group Holdings and Clairvest. The prefecture’s IR Promotion Office told IAG: “We can only answer that a decision will be made in Spring based on the examination of the selection committee. Nagasaki has just entered its second round of examinations and Yokohama is still only in the RFP stage.”

The plan is to develop a casino on an artificial island called Marina City in the Japanese prefecture of Wakayama, located east of Osaka.

Suncity has said it would spend between HK$30bn and HK$35bn (US$3.8bn to US$4.5bn) on an Integrated Resort in Wakayama, in the Kansai region, on Honshū island’s Kii Peninsula. Suncity CEO Alvin Chau said the vision was for a ‘unique project combining Wakayama Prefecture’s historical tradition, natural landscape and cultural essence.’

The Office had previously said that over 20 international IR operators from North America, Europe and Asia had expressed their interest with an IR forum which attracted interest from operating groups including Solaire, Lucien Barriere, Mohegan Gaming, Bloomberry Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment. The government wants its IR to have a 2,500 room hotel with a convention centre and exhibition hall. Marina City is about a 40 minutes drive from Kansai International Airport and a 70 minute drive from Osaka. Its infrastructure is already well developed with many hotels and an amusement park based on medieval European townscapes.

Caption: SunCity’s vision for Wakayama

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