In Japan and officials in the city of Yokohama are reportedly set to hold a series of 18 public briefings as part of a scheme to educate the local population about their efforts to secure one of the nation’s three integrated casino resort licenses.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Yokohama announced that it was entering the race for one of the trio of licenses in August and subsequently set aside approximately $2.42 million to help fund its campaign. The city of around 3.73 million inhabitants purportedly wants to utilize a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park as the site for its envisioned integrated casino resort but is expecting to face stiff competition from numerous other communities including the likes of Tokyo, Osaka and Sasebo.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that the upcoming public information campaign is due to begin in December via bespoke briefing to be held in six of the city’s most populous wards. This process is to purportedly later involve similar gatherings for residents in Yokohama’s remaining twelve districts with every one of these consultations able to accommodate 400 to 500 people.
Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, passed legislation in July of last year that is 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’s attempt to win one of these licenses is being vehemently opposed by the Chairman for the Yokohama Port Association, Yukio Fujiki, as he believes such a facility would throw up a number of safety concerns. The upcoming meetings are purportedly being seen as a way for local officials to counter such defiance and highlight the benefits an integrated casino resort would bring to Japan’s second largest city.