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MGM-Orix continues as only contender in Osaka’s IR tender

Osaka extended its submission period for integrated resort proposals until April 6.
Osaka extended its submission period for integrated resort proposals until April 6.

Although Osaka extended its submission period until April 6, no fresh private-sector suitor has come forward.

Japan.- MGM-Orix remains the only contender in Osaka’s IR tender despite the extension of the deadline for submissions.

On March 19, the prefecture made changes to its IR implementation policy to consider new submissions from potential private partners.

The government also announced some relaxations on requirements regarding space for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and hotel accommodation to allow for a gradual expansion of the IR.

However, no additional potential private operator partners have come forward, leaving a partnership between MGM Resorts International and ORIX (MGM-Orix) as the only firm participant in Osaka’s IR tender.

According to the prefectural government’s timetable, the final selection of a private-sector partner for Osaka’s IR scheme is due in September of this year.

Japan will grant licences to up to three casino resorts. Osaka expects to submit its IR development plan in April 2022.

A new anti-IR mayoral candidate intends to run for Yokohama

Akiko Fujimura, the representative director of an animal welfare group, has announced that she will run for mayor in Yokohama City.

Fujimura stated if she wins, she will immediately cancel the city’s IR project. A similar proposal was made by Masataka Ota, another anti-IR candidate for the August mayoral elections.

Fujimura said: “I have heard of the disappointing policy to build an IR in Yokohama City, and have decided to run for election.”

The news comes a month after a group of residents established a new IR opposition group called “Yokohama Citizens Association for a Mayor Opposing a Casino”.

As regards the incumbent mayor and IR supporter, Fumiko Hayashi, she has not yet announced whether she will run for another term.

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