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Wakayama Prefecture Delays Integrated Casino Resorts’ RFP Phase to Mid-January 2021

The prefecture of Wakayama has postponed by almost three months its deadline for the so-called request-for-proposal (RFP) submissions from companies operating in the private sector that are willing to get permission to operate an integrated casino resort in Japan.

Now, the Wakayama prefectural authorities said that such request-for-proposal submissions must be made by January 15th, 2021. The previous deadline that was unveiled by the prefecture was October 19th, 2020 but it was delayed because of the overall delay of the Central Government to roll out its basic policy on the integrated casino resorts, without which the cities and prefectures across the country would be unable to make their strategies.

The revisions made by the Wakayama prefecture in its timetable for the integrated casino resorts policy reflect the changes made in the schedule of the National Government to finally open a window for the local governments to make their applications and ask to be given the right to host such a resort.

As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, the global coronavirus pandemic had a severe impact on the integrated casino resorts’ legalization process, with the timetable under which the Central Government of Japan set to start accepting offers from local governments willing to host such a resort by nine months.

Potential Opening of IR in Wakayama Could Happen in Spring 2026

At first, three integrated casino resorts will be allowed on the territory of Japan as the first phase of what the Government had described as the first phase of the local gambling market liberalization. The resorts are set to include not only large Las Vegas-style casinos but a large variety of tourism facilities aimed at attracting more foreign visitors to the country.

A delay in the process regarding the legalization process of the so-called IRs was already announced by the competent authorities in the Wakayama prefecture on October 9th.

Last week, the local government announced other adjustments to the Wakayama Prefecture’s timetable regarding the integrated casino resorts. A private-sector operating company is set to be chosen by the competent authorities by the spring of 2021, rather than in January 2021 as it was initially planned. The opening of a potential integrated casino resort in Wakayama was also delayed to the spring of 2026, rather than withing the financial year 2024 as previously revealed by the prefectural authorities.

Several minor revisions in the prefecture’s integrated casino resorts’ plans were made by the Wakayama government, including some stricter measures aimed at tackling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As reported by the Japan correspondent of GGRAsia, the Covid-19 crisis was also added to the revised national policy on integrated resorts in early October 2020.

In mid-May, the prefecture of Wakayama revealed that, as of May 14th, there were two applicants that had been qualified to participate in the request-for-proposal phase of the casino gambling expansion – Clairvest Neem Ventures and Suncity Group Holdings Japan Co Ltd.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.