Officials in the giant Japanese city of Yokohama have reportedly published the implementation policy for their ambitious campaign to win one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resort licenses.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Honshu conurbation of approximately 3.7 million people is hoping to bring a Las Vegas-style facility complete with a casino and multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements to a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park. However, the source detailed that the city is first being required to select a foreign firm to run this envisioned gambling-friendly development before submitting its completed license application to a panel of federal selectors in advance of an April of 2022 deadline.
Yokohama reportedly launched the request for proposal (RFP) stage of this licensing process in December of 2019 and subsequently received concrete operator applications from seven candidates encompassing Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, Genting Singapore Limited, Sega Sammy Holdings Incorporated, Wynn Resorts Limited, Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Japanese firm Shotoku Corporation. The community was subsequently forced into running this official process again from last October after admitting that its inaugural attempt had not taken into account the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic.
The second largest city in Japan, Yokohama is now reportedly set to use the specific guidelines laid out in its new implementation policy to evaluate any RFP pitches that may come in before its revised May 17 deadline so as to have a better shot at winning the race for one of the three 40-year licenses and opening its envisioned integrated casino resort by the end of 2025. The metropolis now purportedly hopes to have selected a preferred operating partner for its proposed gambling-friendly development by the autumn before holding a series of public hearings and putting the whole project to a city council vote in early-March of 2022.
The implementation policy for Yokohama reportedly contains a requirement that prospective operators design an attractive landscape for their envisioned integrated casino resort and commit to policies that will assist with the creation of a smart city and sustainable streets. Officials moreover purportedly want the community’s selected partner to agree to implement a range of public health, economic regeneration, disaster prevention, infrastructure development and tourism revitalization measures so as ‘to restore the city’ by maximizing ‘the economic and social effects’ associated with the debut of such a gambling-friendly facility.
Finally, Inside Asian Gaming reported that Yokohama’s implementation policy contains one slightly curious directive that would oblige any successful candidate to bring ‘an elegant interior’ complete with ‘a clean and high-class feel’ to the future integrated casino resort in order to make it ‘a place for social adult gatherings with dress codes that provide extraordinary experiences.’
Reportedly read the preface to Yokohama’s new implementation policy…
“Along with conveying the attractions of tourism in Japan to the world, Yokohama will become a gateway to Japan for inbound visitors from across the world as we will be their landing point for attractive tourist locations across Japan. Through this project, we will contribute to Japan’s growth strategy, which aims to bring in 60 million foreign visitors and $14.5 billion in foreigner consumption in 2030, contributing to Japan’s sustainable growth.”