Gaming | Suncity backs off from IR project in Japan due to pandemic

Suncity Group has backed off from competing for the development of an integrated resort (IR) in Wakayama, Japan, according to an announcement published on May 12 by the group’s Japanese branch.
As mentioned in the statement, chief executive officer and director of Suncity Group Alvin Chau attributed the withdrawal to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Owing to the continual spread of the Covid-19, a large number of global companies are expected to continue to endure a long period of operation uncertainties,” Chau said.
“In addition, the time it takes for the IR applications to be finalized is longer than expected. As a business operator, we decided to make a hard decision [to withdraw the project] after careful consideration,” he stressed.
The announcement came amidst the recent surge of confirmed covid-19 cases in Japan. On May 12, the same day Suncity confirmed to retract from the IR development, Japan registered 7,056 new cases, with daily record highs recorded in seven prefectures, including Hokkaido, Fukushima, Gifu, Aichi, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Kagoshima.
The aggravating pandemic situation in Japan has further put the launching of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, into doubt.
According to a recent survey conducted by the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun from May 7 to 9, close to 60% of people in Japan want the Olympic Games to be scrapped.
In another poll conducted by TBS News, 65% of local respondents also want the Olympic Games to be suspended or cancelled.
Suncity was one of only two applicants for the IR project in Wakayama prefecture. Their withdrawal means that there is only one competitor left – Clairvest Neem Ventures (Tokyo), a subsidiary of the investment firm The Clairvest Group based in Canada.
Earlier, Wakayama prefecture stated that it would announce the winning candidate for the IR project by the end of April. However, no decision has been made yet. A selection committee of nine experts was put together to identify the preferred operator.

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