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Wakayama Taps Canadian Firm for Casino Project

Thursday July 22, 2021. 01:43 AM , from Akihabara News
The Wakayama Prefectural Government has accepted a consortium led by Toronto-based investment firm Clairvest Group to develop a luxury Integrated Resort (casino resort) at the Marina City district within the jurisdiction of the Wakayama municipal government.

Through the partnership between Wakayama and the Clairvest-led consortium, a licensing application will be made to the central government between October 2021 and April 2022. Currently, there are four local governments—Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagasaki aside from Wakayama—which are planning licensing applications, but under the law only a maximum of three can be permitted at this time.

The Clairvest consortium, operated through its local subsidiary Clairvest Neem Ventures, also includes the French casino operator Groupe Partouche and AMSE Resorts Japan.

Earlier, a number of alternative consortiums had planned to compete with Clairvest for the Wakayama partnership. Two firms, Bloomberry Resorts of the Philippines and Groupe Barriere of France, were forced to withdraw by circumstances related to the Covid pandemic, and a third company, Suncity Group of Macau, was reportedly informed that the Japanese central government would not approve its candidacy due to its suspected links to organized crime in China.

The Clairvest consortium’s proposal is to construct a US$4.3 billion luxury casino resort at Marina City, featuring hotels, exhibition areas, a casino, and all of the other attributes required under the terms of the 2018 IR Implementation Act and subsequent Cabinet decisions.

If it is licensed, the plans call for the Wakayama resort to be built on a 560,000 square meter plot of land, intended to host about 13 million visitors a year. It would potentially become the first casino resort to open its doors in Japan around autumn 2027.

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