Today, the second-largest city in Japan, Yokohama, officially revealed that it is entering the competition to become home to one of the country’s integrated casino resorts, which have been recently made legal as part of the Government’s efforts to bring fresh money to the Japanese economy and tourism sector.
The city of Yokohama, which is situated close to Japan’s capital, is joining other candidates, including Nagasaki, Osaka and Wakayama. All of them are trying to win the right to host an integrated resort that has been permitted by the Government as part of the strategy to attract more investment and tourists.
At a news conference which was aired on the website of the city Government, mayor Fumiko Hayashi officially unveiled its preparation for an integrated casino resort offer, adding that the authorities need to look to the future of Yokohama. He added that the City’s Government has come to the conclusion that they needed an integrated casino resort in order to achieve further growth and development.
Other cities and prefectures in Japan have already said they are interested in hosting one of the three integrated casino resorts which have been permitted by the lawmakers. Apart from Yokohama, the city of Osaka has also been considered one of the top competitors for the IR casino license.
No Integrated Casino Resorts to Be Open in Time for 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
For some time now, global casino operators have seen Japan as a desired market where to expand their international presence because of the country’s high living standard and its close proximity to other gambling destinations preferred by high-roller players. As previously revealed by the Government, the country is expected to initially allow casino resorts to be established in three sites.
The legalization of casinos was finalized by the Japanese lawmakers in 2018 after a number of controversial pieces of legislation and years of debate. Despite the cited risks related to a potential increase in gambling participation and problem gambling rates and organized crime activity, the country’s lawmakers gave the green light to the desired casino gambling expansion.
Due to the lengthy discussions, no integrated casino resorts would be open in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as the Japanese Government is still expected to pick the exact locations for the integrated casino resorts, as well as the operators that will be allowed to offer their services there.
As mentioned above, the opening of the three casino resorts is expected to help the country keep its tourism sector’s growth and attract new investments after the ending of the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to some analysts, the casino market in Japan could b worth approximately $20 billion on an annual basis, with this estimate growing even further by the time when the initial three integrated casino resorts are opened.
Several global gambling operators, including MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd and Caesars Entertainment Corp. have confirmed interest in the Japanese casino market and could be entering the competition for the casino resorts operating rights.