In Japan and the Governor for Hokkaido Prefecture has reportedly announced that his jurisdiction will be withdrawing from the race to secure one of the nation’s coming trio of casino licenses.

According to a report from GGRAsia, Naomichi Suzuki (pictured) made the revelation earlier today as part of an associated discussion in Sapporo’s prefectural assembly and explained that the move was all part of an effort to allay fears that the suggested site for the proposed casino may be too close to a wildlife sanctuary near Lake Utonai.

Tomakomai aspiration:

GGRAsia reported that officials for Japan’s northernmost prefecture had earlier floated a plan that was to see them push for the right to build a $10 billion integrated casino resort on the outskirts of the community of Tomakomai. However, it is purportedly projected that it could take up to three years to conduct the appropriate environmental impact assessment on this site, which raised concerns as to whether the jurisdiction would be able to lodge their completed bid with federal selectors before the expiration of the final deadline on July 30, 2021.

Suzuki reportedly told his fellow legislators…

“An integrated casino resort in Hokkaido that would coexist with nature has big potential but I thought it would be impossible for us to give due consideration to the environment in the limited period of time before the government selects the locations.”

Public protest:

The decision by the 38-year-old governor moreover followed his receipt of a petition against the plan signed by approximately 20,000 people. This followed the Monday publication of the results of an official poll that showed some 66% of the local population was against the scheme to bring an integrated casino resort to Hokkaido owing to concerns over such things as gambling addictions.

Collaborative crash:

The news that the race to win one of the three Japanese casino licenses is now down to just nine runners will no doubt come as bad news to a slew of foreign operators including Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, which had reportedly been seen as the front runner to manage the proposed Hokkaido integrated casino resort. This firm is an entity of America’s federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe and had purportedly opened a Tomakomai office last month in order to help promote the attractiveness of its envisioned Inspire Entertainment Resort Hokkaido venue.