Tokyo, Aichi to Enter the Japanese AIR Race

We continue to hear IR-related news every now and then. MGM was recently rumored to open the first IR in the country; however, before that becomes a reality, there’s another big piece of news with the rumors of Japan’s capital, Tokyo, ready to be a part of the competition.

Tokyo, the largest city in the country, hasn’t yet made an official announcement but the rumors mill are rife.

If these rumors turn out to be true, Tokyo’s entry will allow the operators to have a presence in a big metropolitan area. This will give a big boost to the image of IR competition and help it attract even larger names.

More About the Rumors

Some believe that the recently reelected governor of the city, Yuriko Koike, may play an important role in the deal as he intends to uplift the city’s image. However, insiders are of the view that the governor will have to look at the situation from different perspectives as several factors come into play here.

Joji Kokuryo, Bay City Ventures MD, believes that “The Olympics and the national timeline for the IR will be two of the main variables in the governor’s decision.”

Japan had to take a beating when the coronavirus pandemic forced the Summer Olympics to get postponed until next year. Japan was adamant on continuing with the event but had to give in when other countries declined to participate in the event due to the current scenario. The season will now start on July 23, 2021 and conclude on August 8, 2021.

Where Tokyo Stands

Several Japanese cities including Osaka and Yokohama have shown interest in casino-related avenues, but Tokyo has maintained its distance so far despite there being rumors for a long time.

Rumors got very strong in the first quarter of 2020 when analysts predicted the city to declare its candidacy. Many speculated that Tokyo would go on to procure at least one of the three Japanese gaming permits due to its huge size. 

The capital is home to more than 38 million people and is the richest urban business center in the world bringing more than $2 trillion to the economy. 

It also receives a lot of international tourists who may be interested in checking the Japanese casino scene.

Rumors are flowing that Las Vegas Sands (LVS) may reenter the competition after bailing earlier this year. Some people believe that the casino may target the Japanese city of Tokyo but we haven’t heard an official announcement on this from either party. 

Some experts believe this may turn out to be true since Sands have the financial power to make this a reality. 

The operator has previously shown interest in Yokohama; however, there’s no denying the fact that Tokyo is a more attractive option to operators. Nonetheless, if it happens, it will undoubtedly be the most expensive project. 

MGM is focusing on Osaka and Wynn Resorts and Melco Resorts & Entertainment are targeting Yokohama.

Studying Aichi

Aichi is another gorgeous Japanese city that may soon enter the race. With a population of 7.55 million, this prefecture in central Honshu Island can be a great spot for casino resorts.

“The prefecture completed what they considered as their RFC period at the end of May to very little fanfare. Governor Omura is expected to make a decision soon on whether or not the prefecture will go forward with their Airport Island IR development plan. But a decision is highly unlikely without clarity on the national IR Basic Policy,” said Bay City Ventures’ Kokuryo. 

It’s located at a distance of about 160 miles from the capital but hasn’t been in the news for gambling-related news. 

Due to the prefecture’s late entry, there’s no news yet on who’s interested in the region.

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