Yokohama announces RFP timeline for casino bid
Japanese metropolis Yokohama (pictured) announced on Thursday the timeline for its request-for-proposal (RFP) stage for the city’s tilt at having a casino complex or integrated resort (IR). The RFP process includes two phases; the first running from February to May, followed by a second phase between June 1 and June 11.
The RFP stage is open to all interested parties, according to media reports. Yokohama is expected to choose a private-sector partner during the summer.
Local governments must first find a private-sector partner for their casino resort ambitions, and then apply to the central authorities for the right to have one such venue. Up to three casino resorts will be permitted in Japan to coincide with the opening up of the market.
Also on Thursday, the Yokohama authorities put forward details about the city’s IR implementation policy, an essential document for private casino operators to prepare their proposals to send to the city’s authorities.
Earlier this month, a plenary meeting of Yokohama city council voted against a draft ordinance calling for a local referendum on that Japanese city’s tilt at having a casino complex or integrated resort (IR).
The global Covid-19 crisis helped to push back by nine months – to October 2021 – the timetable under which Japan’s national authorities will start accepting bids from local governments interested in hosting a casino resort.
According to the latest information, the Yokohama authorities plan to present their integrated resort bid to the national authorities in April 2022.
Five out of seven private-sector firms that had earlier expressed interest in partnering with Japan’s Yokohama on a casino resort, have also taken part in that city’s fresh request-for-concept stage, the metropolis confirmed on Thursday.
Those included, according to Thursday’s announcement: Macau operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; Genting Singapore Ltd, promoter of Singapore casino complex Resorts World Sentosa; global casino group Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Japan-based entertainment and gaming conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc; and Japanese group Shotoku Corp.
The two dropping out since the initial RFC phase were Las Vegas Sands Corp and Wynn Resorts Ltd, two United States-based groups that are also respectively parent firms to Asian casino operations in Macau and Singapore, and Macau.
Both companies had indicated last year they were ending, for the time being, pursuit of a Japan casino licence.