In Japan and Friday reportedly saw the city council for Yokohama ratify a supplementary budget that set aside approximately $2.42 million to aid the community’s efforts at securing an integrated casino resort license.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming citing an earlier story from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the move by the Yokohama City Council was passed by Komeito and Liberal Democratic Party politicians with support from the mayor for the nation’s second largest metropolis, Fumiko Hayashi.
Japan passed federal legislation in July of 2018 that is due to see the nation of some 126 million people license a trio of Las Vegas-style integrated casino resorts complete with hotels, exhibition facilities and extensive gaming floors. In order to be selected as the host for one of these facilities, candidate communities are being required to team up with private-sector operators before submitting their finished joint proposals to official selectors Tokyo.
Yokohama wants to utilize a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park as the site for its envisioned integrated casino resort and believes that the finished facility will help it to increase its attractiveness to both foreign and domestic tourists. This scheme has already attracted interest from Macau casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited but is likely to face stiff competition from expected rival bids by the likes of Osaka, Sasebo and Chiba.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that Yokohama is the only city located near Tokyo to have so far expressed an interest in bidding for one of the three casino licenses while Hayashi declared that she believes the budgetary move ‘reflects the will of the citizens’ as it was approved by ‘elected city council members.’ However, the action purportedly prompted some 650 local residents to stage an immediate protest with the mayor declaring that she soon intends to hold a series of public consultations in order to gain a better understanding of any opposition.