A group of citizens in Wakayama city called the “Wakayama Resident’s Group for Questioning the IR Bid” submitted a petition to Mayor Masahiro Obana on Friday containing 20,039 signatures and demanding a referendum regarding the city’s planned IR bid. The city accepted the petition.
The number of signatures accounts for approximately 6.5% of the city’s voting population and far exceeds the 2%, or 6200 signatures, required to take such action.
Upon direct acceptance by the city, Mayor Obana must call a city council meeting by 26 January (within 20 days of acceptance) and make a proposal for referendum to the council, including his own opinion. If passed by the council, the referendum will go ahead.
A consortium headed by Clairvest Neem Ventures was selected as Wakayama’s preferred operator partner in June 2021 and a basic agreement between the operator and prefecture was signed in August. It was announced at the end of September that US casino giant Caesars Entertainment would participate as casino operator should the central government approve Wakayama’s IR bid.
Clairvest is currently working with the prefecture to put together a regional development plan, which must be submitted to the central government by 28 April.
However, a series of resident briefings that had been planned for last November were postponed after it was pointed out that specific details around the provision of capital and funding had not been disclosed.