In Japan and the government for Wakayama Prefecture has reportedly announced that only two firms submitted official plans as part of the request for proposal (RFP) stage of its scheme to secure one of the nation’s coming trio of licenses to build and operate an integrated casino resort.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the pair of applicants encompassed Suncity Group Holdings Japan Company Limited, which is the local arm of Hong Kong-headquartered real estate giant Suncity Group Holdings Limited, as well as the Clairvest Neem Ventures subordinate of Canadian private equity management firm Clairvest Group Incorporated.

Absent applicants:

GGRAsia reported that Wakayama Prefecture had been hopeful that other prominent casino operators including French behemoth Groupe Lucien Barriere and Filipino counterpart Bloomberry Resorts Corporation would be participating in its effort to secure a casino license. But, both of these have purportedly now withdrawn from the contest launched two months ago despite having presented interim concepts via a locally-hosted symposium in August.

Ambitious aim:

Wakayama Prefecture is reportedly yearning to be given permission to bring a Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort complete with multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements to a 58.3-acre plot of privately-owned land on the Marina City artificial island. However, the jurisdiction of some 950,000 people purportedly faces stiff competition for one of the three ten-year licenses from a number of other Japanese communities including the likes of Osaka, Sasebo and Yokohama.

Definitive deadline:

For its part, Inside Asian Gaming reported that officials for the southern Honshu community are now expecting to take the next few weeks to examine the two RFP bids before giving the runners until August to present their associated business plans. From here and Wakayama Prefecture is purportedly hopeful of being able to select a preferred operating partner by the middle of November prior to presenting its fully completed casino proposal to a panel of federal selectors in advance of a final July 30, 2021, deadline.

Added obligations:

Wakayama earlier declared that any successful applicant will be required to implement a ‘sports and wellness’ theme into their integrated casino resort proposal so as to help promote local tourism schemes. The jurisdiction purportedly detailed that its chosen partner will moreover be obliged to follow a series of measures designed to help prevent locals from developing a gambling problem and ensure their finished complex is able to withstand natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.