It would seem that Tokyo is becoming more interested in hosting one of the initial three integrated resorts (IR) planned for the Japanese landscape. GGRAsia reports that it has collected information that indicates that the city is considering an impact study and is looking to commission an organization to conduct the necessary research.
Last Monday, Tokyo government’s Bureau of Port and Harbor announced that it was planning on commissioning what it called an “IR impact study on Tokyo.” It opened a tender process for the research and should make a decision on which firm will lead the study on October 10.
The study will research and analyze what kind of impact an IR would have on the city. It will gather data on economic factors, gambling addiction and public policy to build its profile. If launched, it is expected to be completed by the end of next March, which coincided with the end of the Japanese financial year.
Previously, it was thought that Tokyo could be moving away from being considered for an IR. Morningstar Inc., an investor services firm, reported in July 2017 that the local government seemed to be uncertain of whether or not it wanted to get into the IR license race. It would now seem that it has reversed that opinion.
The change could be prompted by Yuriko Koike. She was appointed as the governor of Tokyo late last summer and is behind the project.
When Koike was a member of the national parliament, she was a member of the country’s “IR Diet members caucus,” a bipartisan group lobbying for the IR cause in Japan. However, according to GGRAsia, she apparently has not made up her mind on whether or not to submit the city for an IR license.
When and where the first IRs will open still remain a mystery. Work is being done to develop licensing and implementation guidelines, but it won’t happen quickly. Even after the locations and operators have been chosen, which could take another 18 months, some recent analysts believe that the first casinos won’t be ready until 2026 at the earliest. Currently, Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka are the three anticipated locations, but this can change.