Asian casino operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, has reportedly declared that it is set to concentrate all of its efforts on the city of Yokohama as it looks to secure one of the three coming Japanese casino licenses.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the firm’s move came a little over four weeks after the city of some 3.7 million people unveiled a plan that would see it apply for federal permission to bring an integrated casino resort to a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park overlooking Tokyo Bay. The mayor for Yokohama, Fumiko Hayashi, detailed that such a facility would help his community to grow its economy and increase its attractiveness to both foreign and domestic tourists.
Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited is already responsible for Macau’s giant Studio City Macau, City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau integrated casino resorts and had purportedly originally targeted Osaka as the preferred site for its Japanese push. But, it now seems to have changed its mind after the recent establishment of an office in the Kanagawa Prefecture capital city with its alteration reportedly mirroring a shift earlier announced by American rival MGM Resorts International.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that the ‘Yokohama First’ policy from Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited was unveiled by the Chairman for its Hong Kong-listed Melco International Development Limited parent, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung (pictured), and means that it has now ceased all plans to bring a casino to Osaka.
Ho stated that his firm is ‘well positioned to contribute to Yokohama’s future’ by building and operating ‘the best integrated resort the world has ever seen’. He moreover purportedly proclaimed that the casino operator has assembled an ‘incredible team of experts and talents’ that will now work ‘to support the community in its ambition to become a global tourism destination.’
“I would like to thank the city of Osaka for its consideration and for the constructive dialogues that we have had. It demonstrated a very professional approach in its commitment to build an integrated resort on Yumeshima Island. I would like to personally thank the Osaka government for the collaborative discussions we had with it over the years.”