Hokkaido may drop out of IR race

Amid environmental concerns, Hokkaido could drop out of the IR race and choose not to launch any gaming development in the future.

Japan.- As Japan nears the launch of the casino industry, different governments are pushing to land a development. However, Hokkaido seems to be dropping out of the integrated resort (IR) race, even as it was among the favourite destinations.

According to the Japan Times, the government would choose not to push for a gaming development for environmental concerns. The news outlet says Gov. Naomichi Suzuki would announce a decision to the Hokkaido assembly today.

Some residents had already voiced concerns about a Hokkaido IR and its environmental impact. It seems Suzuki has heard such complaints and may kill all efforts to compete for a licence.

“We haven’t reached a conclusion yet. We’ll make a decision after due consideration,” Suzuki told reporters Thursday, as quoted by JT.

IR timeline

The casino industry is getting closer each day to Japan and IR  developments will soon arrive. The initiative has taken another step further as the Japan Tourism Agency announced further details on the licensing schedule.

The Agency explained it will accept proposals from local governments between January 4 and July 30, 2021. Therefore, we can expect Japan regions to pick IR consortium partners in late 2020 and early 2021.

The Agency also disclosed it has conducted consultations with interested governments. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, prefectures of Nagasaki, Osaka, and Wakayama; and the cities of Chiba, Nagoya, Osaka, and Yokohama contacted them. Hokkaido was also interested in an IR development, but seems to be out of it.

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