Hokkaido to submit unified IR bid

The Hokkaido prefectural government has reportedly decided that only one IR licensing bid from the local region will be submitted to the national government.

At present, at least three municipalities—Tomakomai city, Kushiro city, and Rusutsu village—are expressing interest in hosting an IR, but the prefectural government is now planning to step in and support only a single candidate from among the hopefuls.

The prefectural government will reportedly wait until the expected IR Implementation Bill is passed into law, and then it will establish a committee of local experts to select the site from among the candidate municipalities.

A Morningstar analysis published this week predicted that Hokkaido was likely to win a gaming license in the coming national competition, and that this site would ultimately produce about US$600 million in annual revenues. They added, “Tomakomai City stands out among the three potential IR locations in Hokkaido due to its proximity to the airport and the largest city in Hokkaido, the need for an economic boost, and the government's support of an IR.”

As AGB reported this week, the Tomakomai city government is now launching its own process of engagement with IR operators.

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