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Tomakomai launches engagement with IR operators

The Tomakomai city government, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, is reaching out to international IR operators from this month with the objective of compiling its “Tomakomai IR Master Plan” by the end of March 2018.

These efforts will include a survey of the intentions of IR operators as concerns investment in their city as well as an “explanation meeting” scheduled to be held in Tokyo on July 21.

The Tomakomai city officials expect at least ten major operators will attend their inaugural meeting. Although the national policy is not yet clear, for its part Tomakomai city is willing to consider bids from both single operators as well as from consortiums.

Tomakomai officials explained to the city’s local newspaper that if they receive multiple bids, they will quickly refine this down to about two serious possibilities, prioritizing operators who have a proven track record and gaming industry know-how.

Two other local governments in Hokkaido are also exploring the possibility of hosting IRs, Kushiro city and Rusutsu village, and these three localities are exploring ideas about how they might cooperate with one another.

According to the local newspaper, Hard Rock International chairman James Allen visited Tomakomai city in February and the Clairvest investment group from Toronto inspected the city in May.

An official of Tomakomai city told AGB that the precise venue in Tokyo for the July 21 explanation meeting hasn’t yet been selected.

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