The city of Chiba, Japan; has announced today that it will no longer be pursuing its bid to build a casino resort as part of the proposed national central government plans outlined in October 2019.
Chiba was previously one of many major cities in Japan, along with Osaka and Yokohama, which was said to be penciling a formal business and tourism strategy for the next 5 years; focusing on the construction and development of an IR (integrated resort).
The Japanese government is looking to grant three permits for integrated resorts across the East Asian country, however, the bid proposal for the large scale casino complex was scrapped by Chiba’s mayor Mr Toshihito Kumagai amid natural disaster concerns.
Mr Kumagai made the statement at a news conference in Chiba:
“Campaigning to host an IR [integrated resort] would take a lot of energy at a time when we need to place our top priority on post-disaster reconstruction and restoration”
Integrated Gambling Resorts
Integrated resorts are hugely popular in other countries around the world, including the US and Macau, China, and is a phrase used to describe a mega complex; comprising of multiple casino establishments, shopping malls, entertainment venues and hotels.
Despite concerns over the potential increase in risk towards gambling addiction, Japan is set to hold discussions and negotiations with local ministers in around 7 Japanese cities, now excluding Chiba, in an attempt to boost the country’s economy and tourism.
Currently Japan attracts around 30 million visitors per year and is looking to double this figure to 60 million by the end of the decade, spending a massive 15 trillion Yen on projects.
Central government today also introduced a body of officials that will supervise and regulate casino companies looking to open in Japan as part of the move.
Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism since September 2019 Kazuyoshi Akaba announced that the Japanese government will be announcing its final ‘basic policy’ on the proposed integrated resorts by the end of January 2020.
Despite Chiba making preliminary arrangements for an integrated resort and shaking things up amongst the other IR bidders with its proposal, along with plans to meet ambitions for Japan’s tourism industry and economy, the city will no longer be part of the national governments formal IR plans going forward.