The city of Yokohama officially announced the timeline for the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase of its integrated casino resort implementation policy. The move gave the start to the process of recruiting a gambling operator as a commercial partner for the metropolis authorities in the application process for one of the three casino licenses that are set to be granted by the Japanese Government.
As revealed by Yokohama officials, the request-for-proposal process will include two phases. The first one of them is scheduled to run from February 5th to May 17th, while the second one, which will involve a period for documentation to be examined, is to run from June 1st and June 11th. Then, the competent authorities will announce the selected gambling operator sometime in the summer of 2021.
According to media reports, all interested parties are allowed to participate in the request-for-proposal stage.
Once Yokohama has selected its private-sector partner, the authorities will come up with an integrated casino resort development plan and public hearings on the matter will be held by the end of the year. Yokohama City Council is set to vote on the plan by March 22nd, 2022, after which an official application is scheduled to be tabled to the Central Government by April 2022.
In case its application gets the Japanese Government’s approval, the city of Yokohama intends to open the hospitality, gambling and entertainment complex between 2025 and 2030.
Additional of Integrated Casino Resort Could Help Yokohama Become Top Tourist Destination
The request-for-proposal phase of Yokohama’s integrated casino resort implementation policy is considerably different from the one unveiled by other candidate locations across the country, particularly in the long period given to gambling companies to make a decision.
According to experts, there has not been any explicit reason for such a decision but there have been rumors that the authorities may have been willing to provide Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands to renew their interest in the casino expansion in Yokohama after both gambling operators decided to withdraw from the market in 2020.
Gambling companies that decide to participate in the request-for-proposal phase of the application process will be required to create a design that corresponds to the local landscape and is also in line with public health measures, disaster prevention measures, infrastructure development, economic revitalization, tourism and development of the neighboring areas.
In a statement released by Yokohama officials, the city announced that it was willing to achieve the highest international standard for its integrated casino resort project that could help it become a global tourist destination. The authorities have shared that the establishment of an IR would help it become a gateway for inbound visitors from across the world after raising its attractiveness as a tourist location in Japan.
Apart from that, Yokohama authorities remain hopeful that the integrated casino resort project would help it contribute to the growth strategy of the country, which was aimed at raising foreign consumption to ¥1.5 trillion in 2030.
As CasinoGamsPro reported, earlier in January, a plenary meeting of the City Council voted against a local referendum presenting the question of whether or not Yokohama should host a large-scale hospitality, casino and entertainment complex.