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Group of Wakayama Residents Seek Vocal Opposition of Integrated Casino Resort Project in the Prefecture

Residents of the Japanese prefecture of Wakayama may not be as avid supporters of the proposed integrated casino resorts as once assumed. Currently, some residents of the prefecture are organizing a petition to hold a referendum regarding Wakayama’s proposal to develop an integrated casino resort.

According to media reports from ABV TV, the campaigners believe that local residents should be concerned about the potential presence of an integrated resort there. However, the resident groups in question have not been yet given the chance to make a commentary on the proposal and now want to be more vocal about their fears.

The residents of Wakayama who want to make a discussion regarding the potential merits of an integrated casino resort in the prefecture are now trying to upset the process, not to mention they have done almost nothing to share their concerns for more than two years. They were supposed to collect more than 6,200 signatures in order to request a referendum to be set by the mayor. Also, a city ordinance must be passed so that a referendum is allowed.

According to the resident groups, a total of 3,000 signatures have already been collected. Campaigners also shared they hope to gather 20,000 signatures by December 5th.

Wakayama Authorities Choose Clairvest for Commercial Casino Partner

The prefecture of Wakayama has already selected Clairvest Neem Ventures to build and operate an integrated resort. The two parties signed a basic contract in August this year, with Caesars Entertainment being officially revealed as the new casino operator in the region.

The preferred candidate of the prefecture and the local authorities are currently working to issue an area-development plan in order to submit it to the Central Government before the deadline that is set to expire on April 28th, 2022.

While making preparations for the area-development plan’s submission, Wakayama is also having a number of discussions to community updates on what is currently happening with the process. In the period from November 25th and December 4th, a total of 14 locations in the prefecture, including Mariana City, where the potential integrated casino resort is set to be located, will host public briefings. Another 7 locations are set to be included in the program.

The meetings are supposed to provide a broader overview of the development of the plan, while a questions-and-answers session will be held as part of the integrated casino resorts proposal by the prefectural authorities.

Wakayama residents have not been the only ones who have been trying to block the potential establishment of a proposed integrated casino resort in their area. A referendum campaign was also held by casino opponents in Yokohama, with the city even electing an avid opponent of the integrated casino resorts at the mayoral position in August 2021. At the time, local voters elected Takeharu Yamanaka, a candidate who had been opposing the integrated casino resorts.

As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, resident groups in Yokohama managed to collect approximately 193,000 signatures for a referendum. The Yokohama municipal council, in its turn, discussed a draft ordinance proposal. However, such a referendum did not take place there, as the majority had rejected the ordinance.

 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.