Yokohama’s Selection Committee on Integrated Casino Resorts to Hold First Meeting on November 30th

As recently announced by local officials, the Yokohama integrated casino resorts operator selection committee is scheduled to have its first meeting take place on November 30th.

According to information provided by Japan’s correspondent of GGRAsia, the committee is entitled to the basic policy on so-called integrated casino resorts, the large-scale gambling and entertainment complexes that would hopefully attract more tourists to Japan.

Back in October, Yokohama authorities revealed that a fresh request-for-concept (RFC) phase is set to be held in the local community in order for the Government to see what is the community’s opinion about a possible expansion of the gambling sector by the addition of an integrated casino resort. The new request-for-proposal phase was given an official start on October 13th and is set to run by the end of November. Then, it would be followed by a request-for-proposal (RFP) phase.

According to reports, the majority of the aforementioned selection committee members have excellent knowledge and expertise in various areas, including urban development and construction, tourism, corporate management, economics, public safety, gambling addiction issues, meetings incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) business.

At its first meeting, the select committee is set to choose the person who is to become its Chair.

New Request-for-Concept Phase to Include Discussions with Casino Companies

As the local correspondent of GGRAsia revealed earlier, the new RFC phase is to include more discussions with private-sector companies, including casino operators, that had already been involved in an earlier request-for-concept phase before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

Upon the newly-announced discussions, Yokohama would reconsider the addition of casino gambling and the economic effects that an integrated casino resort would have on the place and its residents. Apart from that, the schedule for realizing such an integrated casino resort is set to be reconsidered, too.

Last week, Yokohama held the first meeting of the Yokohama Innovation Integrated Resorts Council was held. The Council in question is a local body whose main purpose is bringing together local institutions, public-sector and private-sector agencies to develop legal consensus and agreement regarding the possible establishment of a casino complex.

The expansion of the local gambling market, however, has faced some opposition. A week ago, the mayor of Yokohama was set to address the City Council so that a bill, which could start a community referendum on whether the Yokohama city should proceed in the process of casino gambling legalization, is considered. At the time, it became clear that the opponents of the casino gambling expansion had so far managed to collect 205,852 signatures, which will be enough for them to initiate a referendum on the issue.

The collected signatures need to first be verified by the Yokohama City Government before the mayor makes a further move and submits them to the City Council so that a referendum on the gambling market expansion is held.

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