A number of Japanese media hubs have revealed that later today, a venture associated with the Clairvest Group, a Canada-based private-equity management company, would be officially announced as the Wakayama prefecture’s business partner for the local integrated casino resort (IR) project.
The Japanese public broadcaster NHK was one of the media outlets that reported that citing some people with knowledge of the situation but did not identify them because no official announcement had been made yet.
In mid-May, the authorities of the Wakayama prefecture had confirmed that at the time, Clairvest Neem Ventures remained the only contender for the request-for-proposal phase of the prefecture, after the other company that had been interested in running an integrated casino resort there – Suncity Holdings Japan Co Ltd – announced its withdrawal from the competition. Previously, Wakayama prefecture’s officials had said they would find a business partner for the casino project by the spring of 2021.
In order to apply for one of the three casino licenses that are set to be granted by the Central Government of Japan, local governments are required to first find a company that operates in the private sector and to then file an application to the central authorities for the right to operate an integrated casino resort. As previously confirmed by the authorities, up to three such venues are set to be permitted in the country as part of the Japanese gambling market expansion.
Clairvest Neem Ventures Remains as the Only Casino License Contender in Wakayama after Suncity’s Withdrawal
A press conference for June 2nd was scheduled by the Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka, with some plans to move on with its IR plans. Previously, the prefecture Governor had hinted at the chance of withdrawal from the integrated casino resort race after in May the second candidate for running such a resort – Suncity Group – decided to withdraw from the competition.
Following Suncity Group’s decision to step aside from the further pursuit of the project a couple of weeks ago, Governor Nisaka explained that having only one company as a contender for the casino license is not the ideal case scenario because the local authorities have to either choose it or not. However, he warned that not making a selection would mean Wakayama give up on the idea of hosting an integrated casino resort for a few more years.
For the time being, it remains unknown whether Clairvest Neem Ventures, which acts as a subsidiary for Clairvest Group, has been officially chosen as a partner to the Wakayama prefecture to operate an integrated casino at the selected site in Marina City.
Currently, Wakayama remains one of the candidates to host an integrated resort – a luxurious large-scale casino complex that offers both gambling and non-gambling entertainment options – along with Osaka, Yokohama and Nagasaki. Osaka was also left with a single operator to choose from, while Yokohama revealed that two companies – Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Genting Singapore – have managed to qualify for the next stage of the request-for-proposal phase. Nagasaki, on the other hand, has already narrowed down the number of candidates to run an IR casino to three.