Tag Archive : Yokohama

Yokohama Adds More Staff to Promote Casino Resort Effort

Yokohama has boosted the team tasked with the city’s effort to host one of Japan’s first integrated casino resorts as the nation looks to tap into the Las Vegas/Macau-style gaming sector to grow international visits.

It has emerged that Yokohama is set to increase the number of people in its IR promotion office to 39 from 25, effective April 1.

The office operates under the city’s Urban Development Bureau and is responsible for handling everything related to Yokohama’s bid to host an integrated resort. Japan’s second largest city announced that it would participate in the race for hosting the nation’s first integrated resorts with casino gaming last summer.

Its announcement immediately drew attention from some major gaming and hospitality companies which had previously pursued development opportunities in Osaka. Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts were among the casino powerhouses who dropped their Osaka plans in favor of potential expansion in Yokohama.

Boosting IR Promotion Effort

The addition of more staff to promote Yokohama’s integrated resort bid came as another indication of how serious the city feels about winning the right to host a property of this kind.

Last week, the Yokohama city council allocated JPY400 million (approx. 3.6 million) for its effort to promote the establishment of a multi-purpose integrated resort with a casino, among a number of other facilities.

The allocated funds are set to be used for various activities conducted by the city’s Urban Development Bureau.

News that Yokohama is ramping up its effort to become the host of one of Japan’s first casino resorts emerge just as another contender seems to be slowing things down due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on society and economy.

Osaka prefecture officials announced on Monday that they will now close the ongoing request-for-proposal (RFP) process in July instead of April and announce the winning company that would develop and operate its integrated resort, should it win the right to host one, at some point in September.

It became known earlier this year that MGM Resorts International was the sole candidate that qualified to participate in the RFP process.

Yokohama to Launch RFP around Mid-2020

Yokohama published its draft integrated resort implementation policy in mid-March and simultaneously launched a public consultation window seeking comments on the legal framework. The city intends to finalize and release the policy in June.

It will then be able to launch an RFP process as it looks to secure a private sector partner to build and manage its integrated resort.

As mentioned earlier, the city has attracted interest from some of the world’s largest IR operators with properties in Las Vegas and Macau. It became known late last year that seven major companies have submitted their concepts for mega-resorts to Yokohama officials.

Source: Japan’s Yokohama expands IR promotion office

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Yokohama Allocates $3.6 Milllion for IR Promotion Effort

The Yokohama city council on Tuesday earmarked JYP400 million (approx. $3.6 million) for its effort to promote the establishment of an integrated resort with a casino within city limits, regional gaming news outlet GGRAsia reported.

The allocation of funds for the city’s IR promotion effort was part of its 2020 budget plan that was discussed yesterday during a plenary session of the city council.

It was last summer when Yokohama announced that it would bid for the right to build one of three integrated resorts the Japanese government is set to permit as part of its effort to introduce casino gambling within larger multi-purpose complexes.

Following news that Japan’s second largest city was in the race, many major casino operators eyeing expansion in the country dropped their previous plans to build luxury integrated resorts in Osaka and focused their attention on pursuing development opportunities in Yokohama.

The JPY400 million earmarked for integrated resort promotion will fund activities conducted by Yokohama’s Urban Development Bureau, it became known.

Draft Implementation Policy Unveiled

The city revealed its draft integrated resort implementation policy earlier this month. City officials launched a public consultation simultaneously with the publication of the draft, seeking comments on how and whether should it be amended in any way.

The official implementation policy is expected to be finalized by June. Yokohama will then launch a request-for-proposal process to secure a private partner that would develop and operate the integrated casino resort, should the city win the right to host one.

News emerged last month that Yokohama’s casino effort has attracted a new interested gaming and hospitality operator. Genting Singapore, which had previously explored development opportunities in Osaka, said that it has now decided to “focus efforts and resources on delivering a compelling [IR] proposal which will make Yokohama a must-visit tourism destination, with particular prominence in MICE and leisure.”

Genting Singapore is a subsidiary of Malaysian gaming and hospitality group Genting and operates Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s two integrated casino resorts.

Las Vegas gaming and hospitality powerhouses Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands and their Macau rival Melco Resorts & Entertainment have too set sights on Yokohama.

Will Covid-19 Prompt Changes in IR Timeframe?

The International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, announced on Tuesday that the Olympic Games that were due to take place in Tokyo this summer would be rescheduled to a “date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021” in response to the global coronavirus crisis.

The unprecedented situation has raised questions whether the Japanese government would stick to its previous timeframe for accepting casino license applications. It seems that for now this timeframe is set to remain in place.

This means that cities and prefectures willing to participate in the race for three casino licenses should find private sector partners to jointly bid for these licenses by the end of the year. Local governments will then have from January 2021 to July of that year to submit their applications for the right to host one of Japan’s first three integrated casino resorts.

Soure: Yokohama votes US$3.6mln for casino resort promotion

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Genting Singapore Places Its Bet on Yokohama Casino Resort

Genting Singapore, a subsidiary of Malaysian casino and hospitality giant Genting Group, is now focusing its Japan expansion efforts on the city of Yokohama, regional gaming news outlet GGRAsia reports.

Genting has long been part of the flock of international companies pursuing expansion opportunities in Japan’s nascent casino market. However, the operator of one of just two luxury integrated resorts in the affluent city state of Singapore previously eyed Osaka as its expansion target.

Genting last year participated in Osaka’s request-for-concept process, but chose not to take part in the city and prefecture’s request-for-proposals stage, which was completed in mid-February.

In an emailed statement, a Genting Singapore spokesperson told GGRAsia that the company “will continue to engage in the ongoing RFC (request-for-concept) by Yokohama, and focus efforts and resources on delivering a compelling proposal which will make Yokohama a must-visit tourism destination, with particular prominence in MICE and leisure.”

Japan legalized casino gambling in December 2016, but under the country’s laws casinos can only be part of larger multi-purpose complexes known as integrated resorts. Gambling venues at those resorts cannot occupy more than 3% of the total area of the properties.

The complexes are also required to feature multiple entertainment venues, large hotels, diverse food and beverage offerings, and MICE (meeting, incentive, conference, and exhibition) facilities.

Japan’s central government plans to award licenses for up to three integrated casino resorts.

Yokohama Ambitions

Yokohama’s announcement from last August that it would participate in the casino license race pushed the port city among the frontrunners in that same race.

In fact, the participation of Japan’s second largest city was so-well received that many of the international major casino operators eyeing expansion through partnership with Osaka abandoned their plans in favor of Yokohama.

City authorities have designated a 47-hectare site at Yamashita pier on the city’s waterfront as their preferred location for the casino resort, if Yokohama wins one of the three licenses up for grabs.

The city’s government said this month that they would release their draft basic policy on integrated resorts in March. A public consultation process will be launched shortly after the policy’s publication. Local authorities also noted that they expect to finalize and publish the city’s integrated resort policy by mid-2020.

Aside from Genting Singapore, the likes of Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Galaxy Entertainment Group are, too, eyeing Yokohama as the potential host of their integrated resorts, should they get chosen by the city.

Genting’s management recently noted that they hope to secure a local partner for their Japanese endeavor by September or October of this year. The operator also noted that its shareholders have recently approved overwhelmingly its plans to invest up to $10 billion in a Japanese integrated resort scheme.

As for Osaka’s bid to win one of the three casino licenses, prefecture and city officials said earlier this month that Las Vegas casino powerhouse MGM Resorts International has remained the sole candidate to participate jointly in the city in the casino race.

MGM has formed a consortium with a Japanese financial services group Orix Corp. to develop an integrated resort on a 49-hectare site on the man-made Yumeshima Island in Osaka Bay.

Source: GEN Singapore says its Japan focus now Yokohama

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