The Japanese city of Yokohama (pictured) announced on Wednesday the launch of a request-for-concept (RFC) process aimed at private-sector entities interested in running a casino resort there. The deadline for submission of concepts for such a scheme – known in Japan as an integrated resort or “IR” – will be December 23 this year.
The announcement was published on the Yokohama government official website. It said interested parties would be required to: submit an overall business plan; explain the kinds of facilities to be built as part of an IR; and outline plans for implementation of measures to counter what it referred to as “gambling addiction”. That is according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
Yokohama city is the third metropolis in Japan to launch an RFC process, after Osaka in late April and Nagasaki this month. The confirmation of the latter RFC was confirmed on Nagasaki’s local-government portal and followed previous comments to that effect by local officials.
On completion of Yokohama’s RFC process, the city is planning to publish next spring its IR implementation policy, and then launch a request-for-proposal (RFP) stage, according to our correspondent.
Japan’s central authorities will allow a maximum of three IRs in the first phase of market liberalisation.
Those local governments qualified to apply to the national government for permission to host an IR – namely prefectures and ordinance-level cities – need to team with private-sector partners prior making their bid to the national government.
Some international casino brands that took part initially in Osaka’s RFC phase have shifted their attention to other locations in Japan.
In late August, U.S.-based Las Vegas Sands Corp – that has Macau casinos under its Sands China Ltd unit and also runs an operation in Singapore’s casino duopoly – said it would focus on Tokyo and Yokohama in its effort to be allowed to build a casino resort in that country.
In mid-September, Asian casino operator and developer Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd said it would adopt a “Yokahama First” policy in its pursuit of a Japan casino licence.
Wynn Resorts Ltd confirmed to GGRAsia earlier this week that it would no longer pursue Osaka; but instead focus on the Kanto region, which includes the Greater Tokyo area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa.
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