Authorities in the Japanese city of Yokohama (pictured) disclosed on Thursday a draft outline for the city’s integrated resort (IR) implementation policy. The document was presented to members of the city council.
The document features detail on criteria regarding development of an integrated resort in the city.
The term “IR” is used in Japan to denote large-sale tourism facilities with meeting space, hotels, shops and entertainment as well as a casino.
A maximum of three casino resorts will be allowed in Japan in a first phase of liberalisation, and cities or prefectures qualified to have one will need to make a bid to the national government once they have chosen commercial partners for such schemes.
Earlier this month, authorities in Yokohama had made public another document, related to public policy regarding the possibility of an integrated resort in the metropolis. That paper – said to have adopted a big-picture view on the topic – is currently the subject of public consultation until April 6.
The idea is that the latter document, in concert with the draft outline for Yokohama’s integrated resort (IR) implementation policy, would form the basis for Yokohama’s overall IR policy. Such a policy should be crafted by June, to be followed by a request-for-proposal phase aimed at enabling the city to assess potential private-sector partners.
In late December it emerged that seven entities – that are already gaming operators in their own right in other markets – had submitted concepts to Yokohama regarding IR schemes.
Yokohama’s suitors included as of that time Genting Singapore Ltd, operator of Resorts World Sentosa casino complex in Singapore, and Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. Those two operators had withdrawn from contention in Osaka during the request-for-proposal phase. Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd and Wynn Resorts Ltd – two casino groups also with Macau operations – have respectively announced a Yokohama focus in their campaign to win a Japan casino licence.
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"The initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 percent to 90 percent. But that rate now might stand at just 50 percent to 60 percent... following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases”
Andy Wu Keng Kuong
President of the Macau Travel Industry Council