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Anti-Casino Mayoral Candidate Emerges in Wakayama

The issue of Wakayama’s IR bid will be a leading point of contention in the city’s July 29 mayoral election after a decidedly anti-casino challenger, Kumiko Shima, announced her candidacy.

JR West Mulls Train Line Extension to Yumeshima

West Japan Railway Company (JR West) has included the possibility of an extension of the Osaka Yumesaki Line beyond its current terminus at Sakurajima Station to Yumeshima, the proposed site for a major urban IR, in its Medium-Term Management Plan (2018-2022), published in late April.

Kansai IR Showcase Held in Central Osaka

Immediately before the Golden Week holidays, on April 27 and 28, the inaugural Kansai IR Showcase was held in central Osaka, hosted by by Tradeshow Organizers, Inc. The top political leaders of Osaka opened the event, and large-scale exhibits were presented by six major international casino operators.

Sega Sammy’s Haruki Satomi Speaks of IR Ambitions

Haruki Satomi, president and COO of Sega Sammy Holdings, as well as the son of company founder Hajime Satomi, was interviewed on CNBC on May 4, speaking of his company’s IR ambitions.

Non-Smoking Pachinko Parlors Gaining Ground

An increasing number of pachinko parlors are adopting non-smoking policies. In most cases this means the division of the shop into smoking and non-smoking sections, but some pachinko parlors are going fully non-smoking as well.

MGM Joins Festival in Osaka

MGM Resorts has announced that it will be participating in the Dotonbori Spring River Festival in Osaka in early May as part of its latest effort to woo the local community in pursuit of an IR in this major urban market.
Fitch Asia Markets

Fitch Pegs Japan IR Revenues at US$6 Billion

Fitch Ratings has estimated that the first round of IR construction in Japan will create revenues in the US$6 billion range, much smaller than, for example, the Morgan Stanley report of April 11 which foresaw a US$15 billion Japanese IR market developing by 2025.

Osaka Governor Frustrated with Legislative Delays

In a Wednesday press conference, Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui expressed his frustration with other national opposition parties for their boycott of legislative business, making it less likely that the IR Implementation Bill can be passed in the current Diet session.

Wakayama Governor Backtracks on Japanese Casino Entry Policy

Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka has walked back his early April comments in which he openly expressed the view that local Japanese might also be welcome in a Marina City casino. The governor made this latest turnabout on Tuesday after a gap opened up publicly on this issue between himself and Wakayama Mayor Masahiro Obana.

IR Not Welcome in Kyoto

Yoshio Tateishi, head of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce & Industry, made clear in a press conference on Tuesday that although his organization will support Osaka in its bid to build an IR at Yumeshima, the ancient capital of Japan itself has absolutely no interest in hosting its own such facility.

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Casino Legislation Remains Deeply Unpopular

Among Japanese lawmakers, dominated by conservative political parties, there is strong support for passage of the IR Implementation Bill in the current Diet session, but the latest poll by the Kyodo News agency shows that the legalization of casino gambling remains deeply unpopular with the public at large.

Sega Sammy’s Haruki Satomi Speaks of IR Ambitions

Haruki Satomi, president and COO of Sega Sammy Holdings, as well as the son of company founder Hajime Satomi, was interviewed on CNBC on May 4, speaking of his company’s IR ambitions.

EY Wins Wakayama RFI Consulting Contract

On Thursday, the Wakayama Prefectural Government announced that it had selected the auditing firm EY to conduct its RFI process with IR operators.

Bloomberry Resorts Eyes Wakayama IR Bid

Philippines-based Bloomberry Resorts, the operator of the Solaire Resort in Manila, was an early mover on seeking an IR license in Japan, and their main interest appears to have converged on Wakayama’s Marina City location.

Wynn Resorts Appoints First Sustainability Officer

Wynn Resorts has announced the appointment of Erik Hansen as the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.