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Kitahiroshima mayor drops Heiwa’s IR proposal

Kitahiroshima Mayor Masami Ueno has revealed his opposition to the Heiwa Corporation’s proposal to build an IR at the Sapporo Kitahiroshima Golf Club, putting an end to speculation that Heiwa would throw its hat into the ring.

Speaking at a plenary session of the Kitahiroshima City Council, Mayor Ueno said that although an IR might have benefits in terms of its economic effect and on employment, that he judged it would be “difficult” to make a bid at this stage.

Heiwa, a major privately-owned manufacturer of pachinko and pachislot machines, called last December for an IR to be built at the golf club, envisioning a consortium with an international IR operator and local businesses with a combined initial investment of close to US$2 billion.

When contacted by Asia Gaming Brief, a representative for Heiwa said that they had yet to receive any official message from the mayor’s office and so were not in a position to make any comments.

The effective withdrawal of Kitahiroshima leaves only two municipalities within Hokkaido vying for the prefectural government support for an IR bid—Tomakomai city and Rusutsu village. Tomakomai is widely regarded as the favorite to receive the nod.

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