Yokohama City Unveils New Casino Request-for-Concept process

Yokohama City Unveils New Casino Request-for-Concept process

Yokohama, a Japanese city, recently launched a new casino request-for-concept (RFC) process. The launch was made in response to an announcement from the Japanese central government last week.

What did the central government say?

The central government shifted the July 2021 deadline for cities and their preferred casino partners to submit their plans for building and operating integrated casino resorts like Macau. The new RFC process is available since Tuesday and will be available till the end of November. According to some local media outlets, casino legalization efforts in Japan suffered setbacks because of the pandemic. The planning and construction of the integrated casino resorts were impacted because of the coronavirus and affected profitability projections of the operators as well.

Yokohama City Unveils New Casino Request-for-Concept process

Yokohama first announced its intentions to host an integrated resort last year. It also conducted its first RFC process in 2019 and seven casinos and hospitality operators participated. Among them were Wynn Resorts, Genting Singapore, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Sega Sammy Holdings, and Shotoku. Only these seven companies will be invited to participate in this year’s process. However, Las Vegas Sands has already pulled out of the Japanese market while Wynn Resorts shut down its Yokohama office. Plans from both companies will be on hold.

A delay in the licensing process

The licensing process was scheduled for a January 2021 launch and was expected to run through July 2021. The new deadline has been shifted to April 2022 to submit their proposals for creating integrated resort casinos. The government will award three gaming licenses for three integrated resorts. The first of these resorts were expected to open in 2025 but with the ongoing delays, this timeline could be affected. Lawmakers also said last week that the delays were primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese market is also struggling with a casino bribery case which involves a lawmaker in-change of developing the policy related to integrated resort casinos. It is another reason why the industry may expect further delays.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.