Wakayama Selects $4.3B Casino Proposal From Lone Bidder Clairvest Group

Posted on: June 2, 2021, 08:32h. 

Last updated on: June 2, 2021, 10:39h.

Wakayama is moving forward with the sole applicant that is seeking to build an integrated casino resort in the Japanese city. 

Wakayama casino integrated resort Clairvest
Marina City in Wakayama pictured above. The Wakayama prefecture and city are moving forward with an integrated casino resort bid from Clairvest Group that targets the waterfront entertainment district. (Image: Clairvest Group)

Wakayama Governor Yoshinobu Nisaka announced today that the prefecture’s government has chosen Clairvest Neem Ventures (CNV) as its integrated resort partner. CNV is a subsidiary of the Clairvest Group, a Canadian-based private equity conglomerate. CNV has presented Wakayama with a JPY470 billion (US$4.3 billion) development. 

CNV became the lone bidder to partner with Wakayama in its ambitions of securing one of Japan’s three forthcoming casino licenses following Suncity Group’s sudden withdrawal last month. Nisaka said the prefecture and city will now work directly with CNV to further develop the casino resort plan.

If selected by the Japanese government as one of the three winning casino schemes, CNV says the complex would target a fall 2027 opening. 

Clairvest Runner-up 

In announcing its choosing of Clairvest, Wakayama conceded that the $4.3 billion pitch was only selected because of Suncity’s exit. Wakayama’s integrated resort (IR) review panel scored the CNV project 653 points out of a possible 1,000. Suncity scored higher at 720 points. 

Suncity had a high evaluation score from the committee,” the governor explained. “We decided on Clairvest, the runner-up, as a candidate for priority based on the results of the preliminary survey.”

CNV’s blueprint includes 6.12 million square feet of floor area. The resort features a hotel with 2,700 rooms, conference space capable of accommodating 6,000 attendees, eSports arena, and amusement attractions. The casino has not yet been detailed. 

Bidding War Forming

Wakayama is the first Japanese prefecture and city to formally announce a winning integrated casino resort partner. The three other cities interested in obtaining one of the three concessions are Osaka, Yokohama, and Nagasaki.

Osaka faces a similar predicament as Wakayama in having only one bidder: MGM Resorts International. However, unlike Wakayama, it has long been believed that MGM is the city’s preferred casino developer. 

Yokohama revealed this week that it has two finalists: Melco Resorts and Genting Singapore. Nagasaki says it has three integrated resort candidates: Oshidori International, Casinos Austria, and the NIKI Group.

Oshidori is rumored to be the leader, as it recently partnered with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the casino unit of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut that is quickly becoming a major player in the global gaming industry. 

Once each city picks its developer, the regions will make their cases to the Japanese government. With only three gaming licenses available, one will be rejected.