The Japanese prefecture of Yokohama announced the city council’s proposed budget for 2021, which includes JPY360 million (US $ 3.4 million) to support the effort to establish a casino complex in the city.
Part of that amount will be spent on the city’s tourism development plan. Just JPY83 million will go to that, as well as Yokohama’s request for proposals process.
As required by Japanese national protocols, the prefecture must partner with a private sector company to establish a casino complex. Part of the budget will be spent on the right partner.
According to some, most of the money will be spent promoting the importance of the prefecture’s future tourist center.
This is an important step since a significant part of the population does not want the project to be successful. Although the casino complex is a form of local economic stimulus, which will help boost tourism in Yokohama, there are a number of community groups that have lobbied against the notion.
In a plenary meeting in early November, the Yokohama city council nay of a draft ordinance calling for a local referendum on the complex issue.
The rest of the budget
The rest of the budget will go to other things related to the casino complex project. JPY155 million will be spent on research on infrastructure and transportation access to any of Yokohama’s future tourist sites; JPY20 million will be used for a background check of the participants in the future project. The goal is to choose the most suitable partner.
The budget news broke just over a week after Yokohama announced the schedule of the future casino complex. According to him, the entire process will be divided into two phases: the first will begin in February and end in May. The second is significantly shorter: between June 1 and June 11.
Seven private sector companies expressed interest in partnering with Yokohama. Five of them participated in the new stage of the city’s concept request.
Operators include Macau operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; Genting Singapore Ltd, developer of the Resorts World Sentosa casino complex in Singapore; the global group of casinos Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Japanese gaming and entertainment conglomerate Sega Sammy Holdings Inc; and the Japanese group Shotoku Corp.
The two that pulled out from the initial phase were Las Vegas Sands Corp and Wynn Resorts Ltd, two US-based groups that are also, respectively, parent companies of Asian casino operations.
Meanwhile, another Japanese prefecture, Wakayama, announced two suitors interested in establishing a casino complex. One of the suitors is Clairvest Neem Ventures and Suncity Holdings Japan Co Ltd, which is based in Canada. The other is the local Japanese unit connected to Suncity Group, which is a Macau-based investor.
Source: “Yokohama Budgets US $ 3.4 Million in 2021 for Casino”, GGR Asia, February 1, 2021