Yokohama City Council Still Awaits Japan’s Government to Unveil Basic Policy for Planned Integrated Casino Resorts

The city council of Yokohama was expected to meet yesterday in order to discuss the city’s implementation policy draft. However, Japan’s Diet needs to first place the legislative foundation for all locations that are willing to become home to so-called integrated casino resorts, local Governments will have to wait until the basic policy is unveiled before they are able to create and present their local policies on the issue.

As previously revealed, the yesterday’s meeting was set to be used for further discussion of the variety of options and the requirements for integrated casino resorts, as the city of Yokohama has been planning to apply for hosting one of the three casino licenses that would be first granted by the country’s authorities. Unfortunately, without the basic policy that must be unveiled by the Central Government first, it would not be possible for Yokohama to proceed with its plans.

The fact that the Diet has experienced a delay in its procedure to roll out the legislative foundation for the integrated casino resorts, is to now affect the implementation policy that is set to be unveiled by Yokohama, with the launch probably set to be put off once again. A couple of months ago, the city authorities revealed that it would delay the official roll-out of its plan for the possible future establishment of an integrated casino resort from June 2020 to August 2020. The city of Yokohama has also shared that the timeline might be affected further because of the current situation and the coronavirus outbreak.

Yokohama Mayor Previously Said the City Would Not Delay Its IR Procedure Further

Still, despite the delay, Yokohama authorities remain willing to see the city become home to an integrated casino resort. Furthermore, their plans have not been heavily affected by the negative economic impact of Covid-19, and the city is spending about $3.7 million on promotional campaigns for the casino resort.

According to information that has emerged in the media, Mayor Fumiko Hayashi plans to stick to that budget, regardless of some local people’s criticism that the money should have been redirected to fight the coronavirus. The mayor, however, disagrees. At a City Council meeting that took place last week, she explained that the integrated casino resort is a national project and the city had already received approval to launch its application for the project.

As mentioned above, Yokohama authorities were expected to announce both its implementation policy for the resorts and its request-for-proposal (RFP) application process in August. For the time being, it remains unknown whether that timeline would be delayed further, as Mayor Fumiko Hayashi and Vice-Mayor Toshihide Hirahara said on June 26th that the local government would do everything possible to follow the schedule that has already been delayed once.

As for global casino operators, they still remain interested in pursuing the construction of an integrated resort in Yokohama, even though the city has already put off its plans for the project.

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