Japan Integrated Resort is still into the schemes, even though the novel coronavirus pandemic has made things a bit difficult. In order to understand the impact of future plans, Japan Integrated Resorts Association (JIRA) has conducted a survey of 132 participants who are interested in participating in the process.

As per the survey, one in five parties said they are now less interested in participating due to the pandemic, however, two-third respondents said they are competing for one of the three integrated resorts.

However, 89.4% of respondents agreed that their work related to the IR process has been impacted due to disruptive pandemic. Overall, 66.7% of respondents said that there is no change in the interest even after the disruption. On the other hand, 21.3% of respondents said they are less interested, and 12% asserted that they are even more interested now.

Answering the questions, 61.4% of the respondents identified international travel as the biggest impact. On the other issues, 59% raised the issue of forecasting demand, 40.9% are worried about increasing the cost of disease control measures, and 39.4% of people flagged the remote working as the impact in building the Integrated Resort.

On the questions of the longevity of the issues, the responses are quite diverse. Almost, 27.5% of the parties believe that the issues would be permanent. However, 20.6% forecast the issues to stay for more than a couple of years, 26.7% think it would last up to 2 years and only 16.8% of respondents believe the issues to hover around for about a year.

In another interesting front, 60.3% of respondents believe that the global economy would decide the success or failure of the IR. Further, 56.5% believe existing legal and regulatory framework requirements, and 53.4% of respondents identified domestic demand as the key factor of success or failure.

How about legal and regulatory priorities do you think that the respondents reacted? As expected, tax takes the lead with 60.3% identified as the key priority. However, 58.1% also pointed out the importance of the licensing system, and 28.7% of people marked responsible gambling as a factor.

Japan has been planning to introduce IRs since the country passed the resolution in March 2019. However, the bill has been controversial and one of the opposition legislators has also submitted a bill in January, this year to abolish the scheme of IR.

However, the scheme has hit partial roadblocks with the COVID19 pandemic. The policy and regulatory framework for the selection process of the cities should have been adopted by now. However, the draft is yet to be ratified. The deadline for the host cities to partner with the private sector to build IR is most likely to be delayed as well. Among the potential host cities, Osaka and Wakayama are already delaying the request for the proposal process.

Previously, Las Vegas Sands, one of the biggest contenders withdrew from the process. However, international players like MGM are still committed to the Japan IR project.

Source: https://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/operators-japan-ir-appetite-unchanged-despite-covid-19

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