Residents of Hokkaido consider debate over the possible construction of an integrated resort on the northern Japanese island to be of little significance ahead of the upcoming governor’s election next spring, but the issue takes on much higher priority for those living in and around Tomakomai City according to a poll run by Hokkaido Shimbun.
Prefecture-wide, only 6% of residents said that “Attracting integrated resort facilities” was high on their agenda, well behind “Economy and employment” at 30% and “Healthcare and welfare” at 24%.
“Regional promotion/local autonomy” at 11% , “Nuclear Power Plant restarting operation” at 9%, “Population decline problems” at 8% and “Reconstruction of provincial fiscal budget” at 8% were also seen as higher priorities.
However, in Iburikannai, the area around Tomakomai City, the number of people that consider “Attracting integrated resort facilities” as being of high importance jumps to 21%.
Hokkaido is seen as a frontrunner to be granted the single regional IR license set to be issued by the national government following passage of the IR Implementation Bill earlier this year, with support growing for Tomakomai City to be the specific location.
Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and Foxwoods are among the international operators to have expressed a clear interest in bidding for any Hokkaido license.
The ruling and opposition parties are both yet to decide upon their candidates for the governor’s election in Hokkaido.