In Japan and the race to secure one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resort licenses will now reportedly be down to eight runners following news that the city of Chiba is dumping its bid.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the community of some 979,000 people was hoping to win the right to bring an integrated casino resort complete with hotels and exhibition facilities to its seaside Makuhari district and it had already received official interest from eight potential operating partners.

Time troubles:

However, Inside Asian Gaming reported that Chiba Mayor, Toshihito Kumagai, stated yesterday that his city was to forsake this campaign owing to uncertainties over whether it would be able to lodge a completed casino plan with federal Japanese selectors in advance of the final July 30, 2021, deadline.

Kumagai reportedly stated…

“We have been conducting surveys while considering the trends of the country but due to circumstances including last year’s typhoon, we have decided that the current schedule would not allow enough time for coordination with stakeholders such as the prefecture and for us to complete those procedures required by law.”

Open opportunity:

Kumagai reportedly also declared that the timetable released by federal officials in November was shorter than had been originally envisaged while refusing to categorically rule out the possibility that his city could one day lodge a subsequent casino bid.

Bolstering pledge:

Chiba sits close to Tokyo while its Makuhari ward is already home to the 79,000 sq ft Makuhari Messe exhibition center as well as the 30,000-seat Zozo Marine Stadium. Kumagai moreover purportedly proclaimed that his office now intends to continue considering ways ‘to strengthen and renew the city’ in hopes of ‘driving it and its environs forward with the economy of the whole prefecture’.

The mayor reportedly declared…

“We believe the city will take a central role in the future and Chiba Prefecture will work closely with Makuhari New City. I would like to study effective strategies including those for the future.”

Dwindling field:

The move from Chiba reportedly comes a little over a month after Hokkaido Prefecture abandoned its own casino bid owing to similar time concerns and means that the race to secure one of the lucrative gambling-friendly licenses now encompasses nine Japanese communities including front-runners Yokohama, Sasebo and Osaka.