In Japan and Wakayama Prefecture has reportedly selected the Clairvest Neem Ventures subsidiary of Canadian private equity management firm Clairvest Group Incorporated to serve as its preferred casino operating partner.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the decision means that the Toronto-headquartered entity will now look to help the southern Honshu jurisdiction win a casino license in order to bring a Las Vegas-style development to a 50.7-acre plot of privately-owned land on the Marina City artificial island.
Although most casino gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of 2018 that is to see the nation of some 126 million people offer up a trio of 40-year casino licenses. In order to be selected as a potential host, candidate communities are first being required to partner with an experienced foreign operator before submitting their final plans to a panel of federal selectors ahead of an April of 2022 deadline.
Home to approximately 945,000 people, Wakayama Prefecture is likely to face stiff competition for one of these licenses from the likes of Kyushu’s Nagasaki Prefecture as well as the giant cities of Osaka and Yokohama. The source reported that the jurisdiction is now set to join with Clairvest Neem Ventures in hopes of winning the right to construct a $4.3 billion facility featuring a large casino in addition to approximately 2,700 hotel rooms, a 6,000-seat ‘international conference’ center and an exhibition space.
The decision to pick Clairvest Neem Ventures was reportedly disclosed by the Governor for Wakayama Prefecture, Yoshinobu Nisaka, some three weeks after Suncity Holdings Japan Company Limited pulled out of the community’s race owing to concerns over the final price-tag. This purportedly left only one runner for the right to potentially run the jurisdiction’s gambling-friendly development, which is to moreover offer several tourist attractions including an eSports arena and an ‘indoor skydiving’ center.
However, Inside Asian Gaming used its own report on the matter to divulge that Suncity Holdings Japan Company Limited would have been selected as Wakayama Prefecture’s preferred casino operating partner had it not pulled out of the race. The jurisdiction’s official selection committee purportedly awarded the bid from the subordinate of Hong Kong-based real estate giant Suncity Group Holdings Limited with 720 points while giving the tender from Clairvest Neem Ventures a score of 656.
In publicizing its decision, Wakayama Prefecture reportedly declared that it now intends to create a system that will allow local businesses of all sizes to help it in securing the coveted casino license. It purportedly pronounced that such a scheme would furthermore ‘contribute to the promotion of the regional economy through the development of the local economy and the creation of local employment’ as it looks to open its gambling-friendly development before the end of 2027.