Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture has announced further details of its integrated resort plans, should it win one of up to three licenses that are set to be issued by the country’s central government, report Asian news outlets.
The confident region, one of only three to confirm its interest in being a host thus far alongside Osaka and Nagasaki Prefecture, has earmarked Wakayama Marina City as its preferred site.
Chosen due to its established infrastructure, its location in close proximity to the Kansai International Airport, in addition to tourist spots such as the Shirahama Hot Springs and the Koyasan World Heritage Site, was also praised.
Wakayama is reported to have set aside $1.8m in next year’s budget for related costs, including IR research and wider financial concerns, with it estimated that an additional four million visitors will be attracted per year, bringing $2.75bn as a result.
It is intended that a grand opening will commence in 2024, alongside Osaka which is widely expected to be successful in its bid to host an IR.
Despite the close geographical proximity of Wakayama and Osaka, the government’s IR Promotion Headquarters has indicated that it would not be a problem.
Further motivation also comes in the form of Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, with the Wakayama native expected to bring added leverage.
It is widely expected that the first IR’s are to open their doors in either 2024 or 2025, with an oversight body handling casino regulation set to be established later this year.
Following that development, local governments interested in hosting an IR must first select operators with which to partner by the close of the year, before central government chooses the winners and awards the first trio of licenses by 2020.
It is hoped that through passing the integrated resorts implementation bill, a greater number of international tourists will be attracted to Japan, helping to achieve the government’s objective of attracting 60 million inbound visitors by 2030.
Set to be built in up to three locations during the first batch of licenses being awarded, Japanese nationals will be charged a 6,000 yen ($55) entrance fee for casinos and face limits on the number of visits, while foreign visitors will be able to enter free of charge.