Casino events

Wakayama Lays Out Final IR Plans, Expecting Huge Financial Windfall

Posted: March 29, 2022, 6:31 a.m.

Last update: March 29, 2022, 6:31 a.m.

Less than a month before the final integrated resort plans are submitted to the Japanese government, Wakayama has its plans ready. The prefecture is confident that ownership of the Wakayama Marina City casino will be a huge financial success.

Wakayama Marina City
Wakayama Marina City, the location of a possible integrated resort in Wakayama. The prefecture is finalizing its plans to present to the government in April. (Picture: Inside the Asian Game)

Wakayama is one of the top three potential hosts for Integrated Stations (IR) in Japan, alongside Osaka and Nagasaki. The prefecture worked diligently to finalize what its potential project might look like before the April 28 submission deadline.

Only a maximum of three IRs are allowed in this first phase of the launch, but Japan may also approve one or two, or none at all. Wakayama wants to be sure not to be outdone and is almost ready to present his project.

IR presentations scheduled for April

There is less than a month left before the presentations of the IR projects planned in Japan. Wakayama worked overtime to get his vision in place before the deadline. It has just published its regional development plan, according to Inside the Asian Game. The plan details what the IR will look like, who will be involved, and what impact it will have on the community.

The plan is the result of a broad collaborative effort. Not only government and casino officials put the puzzle together, but local residents as well. They provided information that helped shape the final project.

Clairvest Neem Ventures and Caesars Entertainment will always take the lead. Additionally, Wakayama provided more details on other investors who will be participating. Among them are Nishimatsu Construction, Cantor Fitzgerald, Global Gaming Asset Management, Hanwha Investment & Securities Co. Ltd, Idreamsky Technologies Holdings Ltd, ESV5 Esports Company, GW Investment Group, Zlony Holdings and NFKing Production Ltd.

If Wakayama receives approval to move forward with its IR, which could come about a year after the projects are submitted, the prefecture already has a schedule in place for the first phase of the launch. The casino and some other amenities will open concurrently in fall 2027.

The final stages of the Wakayama process are to receive final approvals from local officials and the prefectural assembly. Once these are in place, the prefecture will be fully ready to hand over its project to Japan’s national IR development team.

A huge boon for local communities

Wakayama has big ambitions for his project, but is confident his numbers are realistic. Within three years, the IR will receive about 262.1 billion yen ($2.1 billion) in direct revenue. At the same time, the IR will provide 353.4 billion yen ($2.9 billion) to Wakayama and 545.2 billion yen ($4.4 billion) to Japan’s national economy.

Tax revenues will also increase. Wakayama estimates an additional tax contribution of 41.9 billion yen ($338 million) to the prefecture and 67.8 billion yen ($547 million) in state taxes by 2030.

Wakayama predicts that each foreign visitor will be worth around 171,147 JPY (1,380 USD) per trip. This is gambling spending aside, as the prefecture hopes to attract many high-end tourists from all parts of the world.

The IR has grown somewhat since its first performances. Now, the casino floor will be 55,367 square meters (approximately 13.6 acres), which is 8,867 square meters (95,443 square feet) larger than before. However, the playing area has been reduced from 19,857 square meters (213,738 square feet) to 19,643 (213,738). That’s about 2.8% of the IR.

There will also be more hotel rooms and MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) spaces. Wakayama estimates 2,652 keys — 98 more than before — and the event space will accommodate 9,000. That’s 3,000 more than expected. The first step, however, is to receive approval.