After years of waiting for the IR licensing to be rolled out, operators can now prepare well for the race ahead. The competition will end with only three operators getting the coveted licenses which means the companies need to put up a strong fight.

The application process is nowhere. According to the Asahi Simbum reports the formal application process has been already outlined.

As reported by, the Japanese government will be receiving IR certification applications from operators starting from January 4th to 30th in 2021. Cities and prefectures can start preparing for the one year window period ahead of them.

This coming December on 18th will be the start of a public comment which will capture the final cabinet decision on the application period as well as the certification standards. Interested parties will have to watch out for this date.

Four jurisdictions that have announced the intention to apply for the IR were the Osaka Prefecture, Yokohama City, Nagasaki prefecture and the Yokohama City. These jurisdictions had announced their interest even before the announcement.

Inside Asia Gaming predicts that the application period will take off after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Tokyo which is Japan’s largest city may opt to take part in the competition too.

Kitakyushu City is also speculated to having an interest in the race. According to an anonymous Hong Kong operator, Mayor Jenji Kitahashi announced that he would consider and gather more information on the application.

According to reports, if Kitakyushu gets the license and starts a city resort on Kyushu’s southern landmass, it would likely cost around $5.53 billion. The yearly revenue that the resort would generate is approximated to be $2.31 billion while the government would receive taxes of around $690 million which shows both the government and the operator’s stakes are high.

Mayor Kitahashi feels honored that an operator was considering investing in his city among the many cities in the country. However, he explained that he wanted to study the concept keenly before giving a go-ahead.

The most aggressive city that is hopeful to win an IR for itself is Osaka City. The city recently announced having seven operators that were interested in the RFC process. Six of them are already considered serious bidders who may bag the license.

While the names of the operators are yet to be released, speculations are high around six companies. These are; Wynn, Sega Sammy, Sands, Melco, and Galaxy. The seventh company is still unknown and can only be identified after the official release of the operators’ names.

Floyd Mayweather, former boxing champ has also expressed his interested in submitting his application in Okinawa. After his TMT launch in June, Mayweather has seen it as an opportunity to enter the gambling market. Most have commented that the fighter is up against the tough regulation laws that Japan imposes on gamblers.

On his part, the champ is seeing it as an opportunity to raise the popularity of boxing as a sport.

Damaris is a seasoned writer and analyst of the gambling market with several years of experience writing for various blogs and websites worldwide. He has worked with several casino startups and is a supporter of credible casino projects worldwide.
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