Friday, April 16, 2021

NIPPON

Japan casino regulator sets clear path forward

Fifteen months after its establishment, the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission (JCRC) has finally emerged into the public light with a webpage, a recruitment pamphlet, and a round of public announcements.

Suga government slips on IR messaging

It's well over six months into the administration of Yoshihide Suga, but the government has given scarce information about its IR development plans.

Nagasaki plugs IR policy hole

The Nagasaki Prefectural Government continues to impress as being the only local government in Japan’s IR race that gives a clear impression that they know what they are doing.

Yokohama IR pro and anti marshal their forces

This was a week in which those supporting and those opposing IR development in Yokohama marshaled their forces, organizing toward the decisive battle in August when the mayoral elections are scheduled to take place.

Yokohama PR touts IRs for post-Covid recovery

The administration of Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has begun efforts to persuade local residents to embrace IR development in Yokohama, but anyone looking for an inspiring public relations campaign will need to search elsewhere.

Possibility emerges Yokohama mayor will not run for reelection

It has been the basic assumption within the IR development community that incumbent Fumiko Hayashi would be running for reelection as Yokohama mayor when her third term expires this coming August. But that prospect now appears less certain than it once did.

JAPAN

The merger of US-based Bally’s Corporation and UK-based Gamesys Group will, among other things, bring new leadership to the largest online gambling brand in Japan, Vera & John.
The Japanese public’s image of IR development is sure to suffer as details emerge of the alleged bribery of former Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office Tsukasa Akimoto.
The leading opposition party in Japan, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, published a list of its basic or fundamental policies this week, including a pledge to abolish casinos.
The Yokohama City Council has approved its annual budget for IR development expenses at a plenary session, backed by the conservative ruling parties and opposed by opposition parties.
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has announced that Bobby Soper has been appointed to the new role of International President, a role in which he will oversee all aspects of the firm’s efforts related to both the Inspire Korea Project in South Korea and the joint bid for an integrated resort license in Nagasaki with Oshidori International.
Kintetsu Group Holdings is reportedly close to abandoning its earlier plans to extend its rail line to Yumeshima before the 2025 World Expo. The firm is concerned that there may be little passenger demand with lingering uncertainty over the pandemic and the future of IR development in Osaka.
Nagasaki authorities say investors in entities that have qualified for the next portion of the prefecture’s RFP process will not be allowed to participate in similar bidding processes elsewhere in Japan.
Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is facing the ire of opposition councilmen both for the pro-IR pamphlet distributed by her administration that does not admit any negative effects of hosting a casino, as well as repeated challenges to her position that a popular referendum is unneeded.
Japan’s IR process appears to move forward in fits and starts, but there were two noteworthy events to emerge at the end of the week that advance the slow process towards the country's first casinos.
The Osaka Prefecture, which currently has MGM Resorts as a sole bidder for a license, has said it will consider further proposals, with documents to be submitted by April 6th.
Nagasaki authorities have announced that it has narrowed the field of bidders for a license down to three, choosing Casinos Austria, Oshidori Group and NIKI Chau Fwu.
The Japanese government has announced that it will be lifting the nation’s Covid state of emergency at the end of this weekend, moving back to regular business as of Monday.
A new citizen’s group has formed in Yokohama to defeat any mayoral candidate supporting IR development and to elect someone who will pull the plug on the prospective Yamashita Pier IR.
Melco Resorts has announced that it is partnering with the Yokohama F Marinos football club to help promote the survival of shopping arcades in Yokohama, Yokosuka, and Yamato. Melco is among the operators hoping to partner with the Yokohama city government on an IR bid.
Oddspedia.com, a sports portal, has recently launched a version exclusive to the Japanese market - Oddspedia.com/ja.
Suncity Group is engaged in various promotional activities aimed at bringing more local people to visit its local office in Wakayama, including a “Lucky Day” event to be held later this month.

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