In Japan and the government for Wakayama Prefecture has reportedly announced that it is hopeful of being able to announce the preferred operator for its envisioned integrated casino resort by the autumn of next year.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, officials for the southern Honshu jurisdiction detailed that this timeline is dependent upon the first-quarter start of an associated local selection process, which can only be initiated once federal authorities have finalized their basic policies on the coming gambling-friendly venues.
Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of last year that is to see the nation of some 126 million people offer up a trio of casino licenses. In order to be chosen as a host for one of these coming facilities, which are locally known as integrated casino resorts, communities are being required to partner with an experienced foreign operator before submitting their finished plans to a federal selection committee in advance of a July 30, 2021, deadline.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that Wakayama Prefecture is eager to win the race to host one of the three venues and recently laid out a plan that would see it spend approximately ¥7.7 billion ($70.8 million) in order to purchase a 50.7-acre plot of privately-owned land on which to build its proposed integrated casino resort.
Home to some 950,000 people, Wakayama is hoping to open its envisioned integrated casino resort by the end of 2024 with foreign firms including Groupe Lucien Barriere, Suncity Group and Bloomberry Resorts Corporation already known to be interested in running its venue.
However, the jurisdiction is reportedly set to face competition from up to nine other communities including the giant cities of Osaka and Yokohama, which are thought to have already secured interest from even larger operating partners such as MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corporation respectively.