A new Integrated Resort (IR) Development and Promotion Ordinance has been put forward as the IR program in Japan continues to develop. The regulations cover a range of requirements for the projects, including how large hotels must be. For any IR project plan to be accepted for review, it must include a hotel that measures no less than 1,076,391 square feet (100,000 square meters) in floor space.
The standard for the hotels was created based on a calculation of the total number guest rooms and the minimum allowable guest room floor space, as well as percentage of suites and other factors. The ordinance specifically states, “The total floor space of all guest rooms must substantially exceed 100,000 square meters.” By way of comparison, the existing Tokyo Dome hotel, which offers 43 floors above ground and three below, has 1,249,435 square feet.
The regulations also state, “The total capacity of the largest international conference room must be significantly more than 1,000 people, and the total capacity for the entire facility must be at least double that of the largest conference room.” However, the conference room can be combined with exhibition facilities to meet the requirements. The total combined space, considering the conference room and exhibition facilities needs to be between 1,291,669 and 2,152,782 square feet.
The gaming floor space will remain small compared to the rest. As was previously indicated, only 3% of the project’s total floor space can be allocated to gaming.
One village in Japan is going to have to reconsider its IR plans based on the new requirements. Rusutsu Village, which is located on Hokkaido Island, is now actively pursuing an IR license and has reportedly begun working with Kamori Kanko Co. Ltd. to develop plans. Kamori is a tourism and hospitality firm based in the country and owner of the Rusutsu Resort Hotel and Convention Center. However, Rusutsu’s project only offers 269,097 square feet of conference space.
Rusutsu is a little more remote than other potential locations on the island. However, this works to the country’s concerns regarding problem gambling. Kamori stated in a press release, “Socially, Rusutsu will support responsible gaming beyond what is achievable in other markets in Hokkaido and Japan. This is because the greater distance to Rusutsu for local players, compared to more urban projects, will serve as an inherent check on the frequency of play. In this way Rusutsu will also be the sample market for implementing responsible gaming policies and perfecting remediation measures ahead of metropolitan resort openings.”