In Japan and officials in the city of Yokohama have reportedly held the first of six online briefings so as to lay out the specific direction of their campaign to win one of the nation’s coming trio of integrated casino resort licenses.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the inaugural remote seminar was conducted on Saturday afternoon as part of the latest request for proposal (RFP) stage of the giant conurbation’s drive to select a prospective operator for its envisioned Las Vegas-style development. The source detailed that the occasion saw members of the public ask a range of questions including how much revenue such a project would be expected to generate and where this extra cash would go.

Grand plan:

Yokohama is reportedly hoping to be given permission to bring a large gambling-friendly development complete with multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements to a 116-acre parcel of waterfront land near Yamashita Park. However, this effort to secure one of the three licenses is purportedly set to face local opposition alongside rival bids from a number of other communities including Wakayama Prefecture, Osaka and Nagasaki Prefecture.

Advanced attempt:

The second largest city in Japan with a population of approximately 3.7 million people, Yokohama reportedly kicked off the RFP stage of its casino campaign 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. But the metropolis was purportedly forced into running this official process again from last October after admitting that its inaugural attempt had failed to take into account the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic.

Timetable target:

These interested operators have now reportedly been given until May 17 to submit their revised RFP pitches with Yokohama subsequently hoping to have picked a preferred partner by the autumn before submitting its completed license application to a panel of federal selectors in advance of an April of 2022 deadline.

Bountiful benefits:

In response to questions concerning revenues from the planned Yokohama integrated casino resort and the city’s Deputy Mayor, Toshihide Hirahara, reportedly told briefing participants that the public purse would receive 15% of casino takings as well as half of all the cash earned from entry fees. He moreover purportedly explained that these funds would subsequently be earmarked to help the community endow local social welfare and cultural programs in addition to anti-problem gambling measures and tourism promotion campaigns.

Reportedly read a statement from Hirahara…

“We hope that you will understand the various attractions of an integrated casino resort, the job creation, positive impact on Yokohama’s economic development and the contribution to the city’s finances. I believe that this will be one of the sparks needed for economic recovery after coronavirus. We need to understand what measures need to be taken to support the future.”