Wakayama prefecture seeks more information from preferred IR partner

By William Brown Updated
Wakayama governor speaks out after integrated resort withdrawal

Japan’s Wakayama prefectural government has postponed a public consultation process on a proposal by Clairvest to be its partner on a large-scale integrated resort, pending clarification on issues relating to funding and the structure of the consortium.

GGR Asia reports that the prefectural assembly’s most recent meeting examined a draft of the district development plan for Wakayama, a key stage of the process before the prefecture can bid to the national government for the right to host a casino complex.

United States-based casino operator Caesars Entertainment had in September said it would, albeit with “no capital commitment”, be a partner in Clairvest’s consortium.

The meeting heard that Caesars Entertainment is still part of the plans, but after the committee had heard from Clairvest, it decided it wanted more information on the build up of the consortium and how the US$4.12 billion estimated cost of the scheme would be raised.

Based on the recommendation from the committee, the local government agreed that it needed additional information on the two topics before proceeding with the consultation process.

On October 26, Wakayama prefecture announced that it would have a total of 14 public hearings in the prefecture from November 25 to December 5, regarding the draft of the integrated resort District Development Plan.

Vietnamese casino resort welcomes first visitors since pandemic

The aptly named Corona Resort and Casino, a holiday island in southern Vietnam, has been among the places first visited by international tourists in the country under its new vaccine passport program.

Fully vaccinated overseas visitors from select countries are now exempted from quarantine-on-arrival in Vietnam under the scheme.

Phu Quoc island welcomed the first international tourists to Vietnam in the new normal after nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Vietjet Air flight brought more than 200 Korean tourists to Phu Quoc to experience a five-day and four-night vacation at one-stop destination Phu Quoc.

The tourists had to undergo quick COVID-19 tests on the first and last day of their vacation in the country.

With negative test results, they were able to visit, entertain, dine and shop in designated zones at Phu Quoc. 

Corona Resort and Casino is one of the attractions of Phu Quoc.

The large-scale entertainment and leisure complex, promoted by Vingroup, covers more than 1000 hectares and includes a number of non-gaming facilities.

It was Vietnam’s first casino to allow economically-qualified locals to gamble when it opened in January 2019.

The country features other casino properties, but only holders of a foreign passport can place bets in those venues.

Vingroup said the welcoming of the first group of tourists from South Korea was the “opening event for the vaccine passport pilot program in Phu Quoc in particular and in Vietnam in general.”

The company added: “This is an important start making an acceleration in efforts to recover the national tourism industry as well as national economic development.”

Following the arrival of the first group of international tourists on November 20, Phu Quoc expects to receive 20 international flights per month in the upcoming time.

Under Vietnam’s vaccine passport program, inbound international visitors must make hotel reservations and join a tour group where all destinations are registered with authorities.

Before the pandemic, Vietnam had been an emerging casino jurisdiction, with a number of large-scale, mostly foreigner-only resorts created along its lengthy coastline.

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