3 Japan IRs Not Accomplished, Observers Say

Several industry watchers say in comments to GGRAsia that the Japanese government may not grant three permits for integrated resorts (IRs) in the first phase of casino gaming liberalization. That comes after anti-IR mayor Takeharu Yamanaka holds elections in Yokohama on Sunday, who said he would soon make it clear the city would not apply for participation in the bidding process to attract the casino complex.

Up to three IRs are allowed nationwide in the early stages of market liberalization in Japan. Yokohama, near Tokyo, is the country’s second most populous city, and a potential withdrawal from the IR race would cause the three interested cities to bid for the same number of licenses.

Osaka, the country’s third most populous city, is now the only large metropolitan area that remains a candidate. Other venues will be Wakayama and Nagasaki, which are adjacent to Osaka. Local authorities wishing to host casino resorts must first select a commercial partner and then apply for the right to host such facilities to the national government.

“The three are the maximum [number of licenses] stated in the law itself. This does not mean that the government should decide to award licenses to the three [casino resorts],” Toru Mihara, a Japanese public policy scholar on the game, commented to GGRAsia.

Industry consultant Joji Kokuryo shared a similar view. He told GGRAsia, “Osaka, Wakayama, Nagasaki and their IR partners will each need to get nationwide approval for their IR development plans. Of course, the first phase approval should come from an actual application, but all three of these will never be approved just because they have been submitted to the government.”

“IR development approvals can be zero, one, two or three. This depends entirely on the quality and integrity of each local government’s application,” suggested Kokuryo, managing director of Bay City Ventures Ltd, a Tokyo-based consulting firm with a professional interest in pushing for casino liberalization in Japan.

The Japanese government will receive IR plans from local governments between October 1, 2021 and April 28, 2022. According to previous local government opinions, the initial opening of casino resorts is estimated to be in the late 2020s.

BY: 바카라사이트

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