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Japan going forward with IR project despite COVID-19

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Japan is proceeding with its integrated resorts (IR) project as planned, despite the global coronavirus pandemic. Theme parks and more attractions are beginning to reopen across Japan.

Japan has decided to go forward with its IR project, a series of integrated resorts housing the first commercial casinos in Japan.

According to Gambling News, some feared that the first of the integrated resorts projects would be significantly delayed, in light of COVID-19.

However, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said that the IR project is on track, and that the first IR in Japan will not be delayed.

IR project not affected by COVID-19

According to consultants cited by GGRAsia, the project will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to die down when construction work starts.

Global Market Advisors LLC’s casino consultant Brendan Bussmann said there will be plenty of time for regional applicants to submit a request, with the deadline in 16 months.

The World Health Organisation expects the pandemic to be brought under control by spring 2021. Foreign investors have already invested in the IR project, which should continue as planned.

However, an announcement that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until 2021 is expected to be made in the coming days (via The Guardian).

Theme parks start reopening across Japan

The Japanese government confirmed that Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, had arranged a conference call on Tuesday (March 24).

Meanwhile, Genting Singapore and Galaxy Entertainment have exited the race to develop a theme park and IR in Osaka. The last competitor standing is MGM Resorts.

Osaka is a leading candidate for one of the three IR licenses available in the first phase, alongside Yokohama and Tomakomai.

Japan is beginning to reopen theme parks and attractions, including Dutch-themed resort Huis Ten Bosch, the Moominvalley theme park, GrinPa Amusement Park, and Legoland Japan.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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