In Japan and a senior government official has reportedly announced that he believes up to eight communities are preparing to submit formal applications in hopes of securing one of the nation’s trio of upcoming integrated casino resort licenses.

According to a report from GGRAsia, Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Kazuyoshi Akaba, used a Tuesday speech to reveal that he expects the cities of Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Chiba, Sasebo and Nagoya as well as the prefectures of Hokkaido and Wakayama to file official submissions with federal selectors in an effort to secure permission to build and operate one of the Las Vegas-style gambling facilities.

Authorized assessment:

Akaba reportedly explained that these Japanese communities responded positively to an official eleven-day survey conducted by his department’s Japan Tourism Agency and that this body would now be conducting follow-up interviews to access the progress of the eight areas’ plans.

Further contenders:

Citing a report from the Jiji Press news service, GGRAsia moreover reported that the central Honshu cities of Kawasaki and Hamamatsu may also be considering whether to enter this tight race, which is requiring potential host communities to team up with at least one private-sector operator before handing over their finished proposals to officials in Tokyo.

Operator attraction:

Regarding the identities of these foreign casino operators, it is known that the likes of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, which is responsible for Macau’s giant Studio City Macau, City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau properties, and American behemoth Las Vegas Sands Corporation are interested in the Yokohama scheme while the rival plan from Osaka has attracted attention from MGM Resorts International, Genting Malaysia Berhad and Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited.