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For years now, the competition for the three Japanese integrated resort (IR) licenses has been running; however, there’s been much of wait and see as cities and operators waited for the formal process to be implemented. It’s finally happening, the formal IR application process has been outlined, reports the Asahi Simbum.

The Japanese government will be accepting IR certification applications from January 4 to January 30, 2021. So the cities and prefectures will have more than a year to prepare for the process.

Next will be a public comment period beginning on December 18 of this year, with an anticipated final cabinet decision around the application period and certification standards.

As mentioned on the Calvinayre.com website, Yokohama City, the Osaka Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, and Nagasaki Prefecture were the four jurisdictions to officially announce their intention to apply for an IR before this announcement. Inside Since the application period will happen after the Tokyo 2020 olympics, Japan’s biggest city may like to enter the race as well, speculates Inside Asia Gaming.

Kitakyushu City may be joining the race as well. An unidentified Hong Kong operator has courted mayor Jenji Kitahashi, who said “I will properly consider and study this as much as is possible.”

Reports show that a Kitakyushu City resort, situated on the southern land mass of Kyushu, would probably cost JPY600 billion ($5.53 billion), and could generate JPY250 billion yearly in revenue ($2.31 billion) and JPY75 billion ($690 million) in taxes for the government.

Kitahashi admitted that he’s simply honored an operator would choose to locate in his city; however, can’t approve just yet. “I am frankly very happy that Kitakyushu city has been considered from so many cities and we will consider the specific concept. I want to study it properly.”

Osaka, which may be the city most hopeful to win an IR, recently disclosed the 7 operators that filed in the RFC process to set up shop there, with six expected to have serious bids on the table. Also, there is rumor about Floyd Mayweather wanting to submit his own bid in Okinawa.

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