Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture extends deadline for IR casino partner

Operator selection has been pushed back from November 2020 to January 2021

On Monday, The Wakayama prefecture announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline of submission of the Request for Proposal (RFP) has been extended from 31 August to 19 October of 2020 – the material required to secure plans to build and operate an IR resort in the prefecture - to be submitted by the two operators. 

The prefecture declared Hong Kong’s Suncity Group and Canadian IR investment firm Clairvest Group as the two suitors for the Wakayama IR casino license on the first week of May, and now has pushed back the operator selection from November 2020 to January 2021. Still, the prefecture is eager to open the IR by 2025. Read more about it here.

Bay City Ventures Managing Director, Joji Kokuryo, beleives that Wakayama pushing back their RFP submission period gives the prefecture and the RFP participants much needed time for competitive dialogue.

Bay City Ventures Managing DirectorJoji Kokuryotold Casino.org, “Wakayama pushing back their RFP (request for proposal) submission period gives the prefecture and the RFP participants much needed time for competitive dialogue.”  

Joji Kokuryo serves an advisor to the Gaming Standards Association of Japan and has worked in other leading IR markets, with Macau and Manila’s Entertainment City included. 

“Operators will benefit by having more time to prepare their consortium and bids to the prefecture. The January selection of the IR partner is, for sure, the latest that the Wakayama prefecture and their eventual IR partner can go in terms of creating a sound business plan to meet the central government’s July 2021 deadline,” Kokuryo added. 

Wakayama is one of four locations openly in the running to develop one of three integrated resorts nationwideMGM Resorts, along with its partner Orix, remains the only company to have submitted a bid to develop an Osaka integrated resort. Five companies remain in the race for Yokohama (Galaxy Entertainment Group, Genting Singapore, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Sega Sammy and Wynn Resorts), and three for Nagasaki (Casinos Austria, Current Corp and Oshidori). All of which have now confirmed delays to their schedules. 

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