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Japan Gov’t could restart IR application tender in summer – Analyst

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The Japanese government could start considering opening another integrated resort concession application tender around July to August, a Japan-based gaming professional stated.

During a panel held at the 6th ASEAN Gaming Summit, Joji Kokuryo Managing Director at Bay City Ventures, and gaming professional with experience in Japan’s concession tendering process pointed out that authorities could consider opening up another tender after the government’s fiscal year.

“From experience of the Japanese technical procedures I believe summer, between July and August in terms of when they could consider re-opening for applications,” Koruyo noted.

The gaming professional noted it has been a “long road” until an actual IR license was issued, about six years from the actual application of the draft law to “one very conditionalized license” granted to MGM in Osaka.

“Osaka was approved last spring and Nagasaki was rejected earlier this year after a 1 and 2-year process, so we are talking about Japanese timelines here,” Koruyo noted.

“The good thing is we could see how long the procedures take, so there is some background and it should be more efficient the second time around, at least in terms of communication. The second round should be faster”.

For the gaming expert, Hokkaido could be interested in re/applying, while Nagasaki said they would take a step back.

The Osaka integrated resort (IR) is estimated to cost around $13.5 billion and will be developed jointly by US casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp. The casino is scheduled to open its doors in the autumn of 2030.

Still, Koruyo considered that a “tug-of-war” is progressing between the government side and the operator side.

“When MGM’s IR proposal for Osaka was approved there were eight conditions were laid out by the Japan tourism organization, apart from the conditions added after the approvals,” he noted

“The MGM partnership also has an out clause, set for 2026 as the cut-off date, but with very generic conditions laid out, such as if tourism in the Osaka area is not back to pre-Covid levels. There’s also a land lease for the artificial island for the IR.”

The land liquefaction countermeasures for the artificial island are expected to be completed by the end of the fiscal year beginning April 2027, with the Osaka Governor pointing for full-scale construction of the resort to start in the spring of next year.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Mourahttp://agbrief.com
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.

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