Hokkaido pulls out of IR race

The governor of Hokkaido has officially announced that the city will not bid for an integrated resort due to environmental concerns.

Japan.- Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki has announced that the city won’t run for a casino licence. Suzuki argues that there are too many environmental concerns and too little time to fix them and bid for an integrated resort (IR).

“An integrated resort in Hokkaido which would coexist with nature has big potential, but I thought it would be impossible for us to give due consideration to the environment in the limited period of time before the government selects the locations,” Suzuki said in the prefectural assembly of Japan’s northernmost main island on Friday, according to The Mainchi.

Yokohama, Osaka and Osaka Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture and Nagasaki Prefecture have all said that they will bid for a licence. Tokyo, Nagoya and Chiba are likely to bid to feature a casino in the territory as well.

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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