Mayor of Yokohama Says She Would Accept a Vote Against Integrated Casino Resort

The mayor of Yokohama city, Fumiko Hayashi, used her regular media briefing on October 16th to reveal that she would respect any “no” vote that may result from a public referendum focused on the fate of proposed integrated casino resorts in the city.

According to information provided by the Japan correspondent of GGRAsia, in case the referendum regarding the recently legalized integrated casino resorts takes place and the majority of the voters say they are against the project, Ms. Hayashi said that she would act in accordance with the result. The current mayor of the city of Yokohama has been working with her current team of office for three years, with the city set to hold a new mayoral election in 2021.

So far, not everyone in Yokohama was glad to learn that the city was to participate in the application process for one of the three IRs that are planned to be sold on the territory of Japan. Some of the city residents opposed the idea, with them having been collecting voter signatures required to trigger a referendum on the topic. They have, eventually, managed to gather the required number, as revealed in some reports last week.

According to the latest updates on the matter, a bill under which a local referendum is to be held is set to be submitted to the Yokohama city council early in 2021. During the October 16th briefing, no specific timetable for holding such a referendum was unveiled.

Yokohama to Hold a New Reques-for-Concept Phase for Casino Expansion

Reportedly, the city council of Yokohama would have to vote on whether such a referendum is held, in the first place.

In its current form, the council has a majority in favor of the integrated casino resort policy, the GGRAsia correspondent revealed. For the time being, it seems that most local economic-lobby groups are also in favor of the casino expansion.

About a week ago, Yokohama authorities revealed their intentions to hold a fresh request-for-concept (RFC) phase as part of the city’s attempt to become home to one of the first three integrated casino resorts that are set to be established on the territory of the country as the first phase of Japan’s casino market liberalization. As revealed on October 13th, the new request-for-concept will run by the end of November.

Some local media outlets have reported that the decision for the new RFC effort of the Yokohama city has come as a result of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on integrated casino resorts’ planning process, as well as on the business projections in regard to the potential profitability of such a resort in case one is run in the city. As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, a total of three casino resorts are set to be allowed in the country in the first phase of the Japanese gambling sector liberalization.

Earlier in October, the national government of the country revealed that it planned to start accepting proposals for hosting integrated casino resorts from October 2021. The proposed closing date for such proposals, which are set to be made by the local governments across the country, would be April 28th, 2022. The considerable delay in the process associated with the introduction of casino resorts in the country was due to the negative impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on the country.

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