According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the jurisdiction is one of the front-runners alongside the giant cities of Osaka and Yokohama in the heated race to win one of three casino resort licenses being put up for grabs by federal authorities. The source detailed that the Honshu province is eventually hoping to be given permission to bring its envisioned gambling-friendly development to a 58.3-acre plot of privately-owned land on its Marina City artificial island so as to attract more foreign tourists and give its economy a significant boost.
However, the Kansai jurisdiction has now reportedly been forced to extend the opening date for this planned Las Vegas-style project after officials in Tokyo twice postponed the publication of the nation’s ‘Basic Policy’ document. This instrument purportedly lays out the essential guidelines for those communities hoping to secure one of the three lucrative casino licenses but had its initial publication last January delayed owing to bribery allegations followed by the subsequent impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the ‘Basic Policy’ document was only finally released last month, the Director for Wakayama Prefecture’s Planning and Policy Bureau, Tatsunobu Yokoyama, has now reportedly conceded that his province will be missing its initial 2025 opening target for the casino project. The official purportedly furthermore proclaimed that any such development will now not be open in time for the start of World Expo 2025 in nearby Osaka but that his office ‘would like to proceed with our goal of opening the first integrated casino resort in Japan.’
The news from Wakayama Prefecture comes after Osaka announced in June that it had pushed back the opening date for its own planned integrated casino resort to 2027. Yokohama is thought to be looking at a similar schedule while all three runners will purportedly be able to publicize more definitive timeframes once the federal government begins sorting through license applications from July of 2022.