Japan’s integrated resort (IR) process has gulped along, with most parties pretty content that timelines are long enough that they can still hit their goals even though the global pandemic has ruined the plans for many things. Wakayama region has confirmed to GGRAsia that they will not be hitting their mid-November 2020 goal of choosing an IR associate.
According to Wakayama, COVID-19 is playing a critical role in forcing this process out. The whole thing has been postponed. This is because the timeline for submission of request-for-proposal (RFP) materials by potential IR partners has been postponed to October 19. According to the prefecture’s IR Promotion Office, there could be additional adjustments to the timetable.
The impacts of the Coronavirus on this IR process are still hard to interpret, even as Japan ended its official nationwide Covid-19 emergency on May 26. The final IR Basic Policy of the government must be ready by July 26. Moreover, between January 4, 2021, and July 30, 2021will be the cities and prefectures making bids dates. They could risk missing out if they did not choose their IR partners early enough to prepare their bid to the national government.
Wakayama, together with Osaka, Yokohama, and Nagasaki, are all in competition. The four regions hope that the whole process will conclude with a final decision sometime between the “autumn to winter” of 2021. Suncity Group Ltd and ClairvestNeem Ventures, which have both advanced to the next round of Wakayama’s RFP process, are the two significant suitors for the region. They could be competing against the likes of Genting at the final bid. Genting is expected to bid in Yokohama, and MGM Resorts.