In the words of a famous baseball player, he said “It is not over until it is over.” This saying is just trying to say that you should never give up no matter the circumstances until it is truly over.

This statement is the exact thing that is happening at Hokkaido. According to reports from Calvin Ayre, the company told Inside Asian Gaming that they have not given up in their hopes of landing the Integrated Resort (IR) in their region.

This move is coming as a surprise to a number of people in the industry because it seemed the company was no longer in the race. Three weeks ago, the governor of Hokkaido stated that they would no longer be in contention to bid for the Integrated Resort again.

Even though a number of business groups see this as an opportunity they can’t pass up, only a few can land this massive project. As at this time, the leading candidate is Ado Machida – the President of Hard Rock Japan.

In an interview that was held recently, he disclosed that his organization would not rest until they make the resort a reality. He said:

“We have only been focused on Hokkaido. We have established an office in Tomakomai and have been promoting a bid. The company was planning to invest US$5 billion and expected to employ 15,000 to 21,000 people.”

Ado Machida also expressed his fear that Naomichi Suzuki – the Governor of the province – had made his decision to put a hold on the bid for the Integrated Resort. According to him, he said:

“I really don’t understand [the Governor’s decision] and I feel it’s a bit of a waste. An IR was expected to help drastically mitigate the problems of population decline, the declining birthrate, an aging population and the tax decline that comes with that.”

Even though Hokkaido was seen as a dark horse in the race for the Integrated Resort, that notion seems to have changed now. The reason is because of the differing opinions expressed by the people of the island on the bid and the project itself. There have been a lack of unity within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Hokkaido when the bid was about to be tabled.

Before the month of November ended, Governor Suzuki spoke to the assembly. In his address, he said:

“As a result of careful consideration, I had reached the conclusion that I would like to give an IR bid a shot, however, the candidate site is likely to be a habitat of rare animals and plants, and the appropriate environmental considerations would be impossible in the restricted schedule.”

This statement seemed to put an end to any chance that Hokkaido could harbor regarding the bid for the much coveted IR. All hopes have now been revived as some business leaders have come together to revive the dream of landing the Integrated Resort.

Basheera Manaar is a freelance writer covering news related to Land Based Casinos in United States. When she is not informing you about the gambling world, you will find her busy interacting with nature, people and animals. She recently graduate from Nairobi University with a degree in Journalism.


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