A plenary session of Yokohama city council voted on Tuesday to allocate JPY400 million (US$3.6 million) for the metropolis’ effort to get a casino complex or integrated resort (IR) as they are known in Japan.
According to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the move was part of the city’s financial-year 2020 budget plan, and the money will go the IR promotion work done by Yokohama’s Urban Development Bureau.
On March 12 the Yokohama city (pictured) announced a draft IR implementation policy and said it would go out for public consultation with the aim of finalising in June the policy. After that Yokohama will launch a request-for-proposal (RFP) process aimed at potential partners from the private sector.
According to our correspondent, the city council has 86 members, with the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito – two parties that also govern at national level – having 52 of the local assembly seats.
The decision to provide the IR promotion budget came on the same day news broke of the postponement until 2021 – due to the coronavirus pandemic – of the Tokyo Olympics, which should have been held this summer.
According to late-January commentary by the national government – amid an alleged bribery scandal linked to the casino policy but prior to the coronavirus alert – Japan planned to stick to a previously-mentioned timetable for the IR plan. Under it, local governments would have from January to July in 2021 to apply for the right to host a casino resort. Up to three will be permitted in a first phase of liberalisation.
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