Suncity, Clairvest qualify for Wakayama casino RFP

The authorities in Japan’s Wakayama prefecture (pictured) announced on Thursday that two declared suitors seeking respectively to work with that community to create a casino resort – or integrated resort (IR) – scheme there, had each qualified for the local government’s request-for-proposal (RFP) process. It following a local government review of both companies over the previous two weeks.

The firms are Suncity Group Holdings Japan Co Ltd and Clairvest Neem Ventures. The former is a Japan unit linked to privately-held Macau junket investor Suncity Group Ltd. The latter is a unit of Canada-based private-equity management firm Clairvest Group.

On its official website, the Wakayama prefectural government noted that August 31 is the deadline for RFP materials submission by bidders wishing to be its private-sector partner on a casino scheme. The local authority has said it aims to select a partner by mid-November this year. Wakayama will then need to apply to the national government for the right to have such a scheme. Three such resorts will be allowed nationwide in the first phase of market liberalisation.

The Wakayama government’s designated IR site is a 23.61-hectare (58.3-acre) plot on an artificial island known as Marina City.

Elsewhere in the country, other regions interested in hosting an IR scheme – namely Osaka, Yokohama and Nagasaki – have respectively announced the postponement of their preparation timetable regarding effort to host a casino scheme, blaming the delays on the negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wakayama and Nagasaki were identified on Thursday as among 39 Japanese prefectures to be taken out of national-government emergency measures in relation to control of the novel coronavirus.

But the casino hopefuls Kanagawa prefecture, encompassing Yokohama city; and Osaka, were among eight prefectures kept under emergency alert. Another of the eight was the capital Tokyo, which has not declared candidacy as a casino hopeful.