The firm behind Asian casino operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, has reportedly announced that it will be opening an office in Yokohama as it looks to gain an advantage over its competitors in the race to secure at least one of the three gambling licenses being made available for Japan.

According to a report from GGRAsia, Hong Kong-listed,Melco International Development Limited, made the revelation via an official Friday filing as part of an effort to best other international runners including MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Limited and Hard Rock International in acquiring one of the lucrative Japanese licenses.

Robust competition:

Home to some 3.7 million people, Yokohama recently put its name in the hat in hopes of winning the right to host one of the coming trio of integrated casino resorts but is expected to face stiff competition from the likes of Osaka, Sasebo and Chiba City. In addition, last month saw American casino behemoth Las Vegas Sands Corporation detail that it would be shifting its Japanese focus to the Kanagawa Prefecture capital city, which is located only about a 48-minute train ride from downtown Tokyo.

Concerted concentration:

Melco Int’l reportedly already has offices in Tokyo and Osaka while its Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited subordinate is responsible for running Macau’s giant Studio City Macau, City of Dreams Macau and Altira Macau integrated casino resorts. The parent firm moreover used the filing to declare that Japan continues to be its ‘core focus’ and that it ‘is now fully engaged to explore local partnerships and to further build up our local presence.’

Sound standing:

Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman for Melco International Development Limited, reportedly proclaimed that his firm remains ‘dedicated’ to opening and running an integrated casino resort in Japan and currently sits in a ‘strong position’ to partner with local collaborators in order to premiere a facility with a ‘unique Japanese touch.’

Reportedly read a statement from Ho…

“In the past few months, we have released designs of our proposed Osaka integrated resort and participated in the Yokohama’s request-for-information and Osaka’s request-for-concept.”

Favorable financials:

In associated news, GGRAsia reported that Melco Int’l additionally used the filing to reveal that its net revenue for the six months to the end of June had swelled by some 12.9% year-on-year to top $2.84 billion thanks in large part to a comparable 12.7% boost in casino takings to almost $2.48 billion.

The firm is additionally responsible for the gigantic City of Dreams Manila development and is spending some $548 million in order to open its City of Dreams Mediterranean venue in Cyprus. It furthermore divulged that its half-year adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization had grown by 15.9% year-on-year to reach approximately $817.32 million as its associated profit improved by 34.1% to surpass $58.92 million.