In Japan and the government for Wakayama Prefecture has reportedly announced the initiation of a consultation period in which it intends to invite comments from ‘interested parties’ concerning its plan to host one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resorts.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the southern Honshu jurisdiction is hoping to take advantage of federal legislation passed in the summer of 2018 so as to be given permission to bring one of the three coming Las Vegas-style developments complete with multiple hotels, exhibition facilities, retail elements and a casino to a 50.7-acre plot of privately-owned land on its Marina City artificial island.
Wakayama Prefecture is home to approximately 950,000 people and its casino proposal has already reportedly received interest from several foreign operators including French gambling and hotels operator Groupe Lucien Barriere. But this plan is also purportedly facing competition from up to eight other candidate communities including the giant cities of Osaka and Yokohama, which have already attracted the attention of gaming behemoths such as MGM Resorts International, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Wynn Resorts Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
GGRAsia reported that Wakayama Prefecture proclaimed that its consultation period is due to run until March 3 and invite parties to pass comment on its ‘draft integrated resort implementation policy,’ which lays out what it would expect a private operator to bring to the bidding process. This list includes provisions that would require the foreign company to construct a distinctive venue complete with a minimum government-mandated $10 billion price-tag and featuring a casino that occupied no more than 3% of its total floor space.
Wakayama Prefecture reportedly explained that it has already begun taking questions from would-be partners and hopes to initiate the official request for proposal (RFP) stage of its selection process in ‘late-March or the beginning of April’ following the completion of this consultation period.
The jurisdiction hopes to be able to open its envisioned Japanese integrated casino resort, which is moreover said to interest Suncity Group and Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, by the end of 2024 but will be required to select a private operating partner and submit its final plan to a panel of federal selectors in advance of a July 30, 2021, deadline.