Things Moving Forward Slowly With Japan’s IR Development

Japan has been a pretty hot topic lately among people who are in the casino industry. After the bill was passed and approved, there are plans for three big integrated resorts to be built in Japan.

Why all the fuss about Japan? Well, according to some statistics, the country has huge potential when it comes to gambling, and can even surpass Macau and Las Vegas in terms of popularity and profit.

The Government of Japan is well aware that building integrated resorts means making some essential changes in the way people perceive casinos, as many Japanese are not fond of having casinos in their cities. Nevertheless, they are slowly getting open to the idea, especially now that they understand that these casinos will attract more tourists.

Before the entire procedure takes a step forward, there must be two things that the government of Japan needs to decide on. The first one is which casino operators to choose. There are approximately a dozen interested operators, and the government needs to choose three of them. The next thing they need to choose are the places where IRs should be built.

Right now, it seems that Nagasaki is one of the most likely locations for an integrated resort. In fact, the officials of this city sent an email to GGRAsia where they invited all the casino operators to respond with an RFC (request for concept) starting Oct. 1.

Starting Oct. 1, the prefecture will come up with the guidelines and criteria for the request for concept, and potential operators will have time until Nov. 22 to let them know whether they are interested in cooperating on an IR project development.

Nagasaki Prepares for The IR

All these steps taken by the officials of Nagasaki are there to ensure that the prefecture is ready when the government of Japan decides to speed things up. They feel very confident that they are definitely going to be selected by the government.

The other city that is rated very high as a potential place for an IR is Osaka. They have already completed their RFC and immediately started collaborating with MGM. In other words, MGM and Osaka seem to be working very well and cooperating closely in order to begin the construction of an IR as soon as everything is approved.

According to the odds, MGM is most likely to actually win the license for building an IR in Osaka, as the only competitors for this place are Genting Singapore and Galaxy Entertainment Group. The Osaka race used to be more intense as Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts were also a part of it. However, the two companies focused on other places instead, leaving MGM a better chance to win the license.

In the end, it is up to the government of Japan to decide which areas get an IR and which operators get a license. It’s a long and tedious process, and the government takes it really slow. However, they have deadlines as well, and we hope to see some concrete decisions and results very soon.

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