Genting focuses on Yokohama project

By Noah Taylor Updated
Yokohama committee opposed to casino referendum 

It has been reported today that integrated resorts developer Genting Singapore has stated that it will focus its efforts and resources in Japan on Yokohama, Japan’s second largest city by population.

Casino Buzz reports that a Genting Singapore spokesperson said: “While Genting Singapore participated in the Osaka RFC; after reviewing and considering shareholder feedback, it did not register for the Osaka RFP, for which registration closed on February 14.”

The government of Japan is set to issue three licences for three integrated resorts in the country.

“Genting Singapore will continue to engage in the ongoing RFC by Yokohama, and focus efforts and resources on delivering a compelling proposal which will make Yokohama a must-visit tourism destination, with particular prominence in MICE and leisure,” the spokesperson said.

Local government ministers in Yokohama announced last week that it would be releasing its draft policy next month and that a period of consultation would follow, with a finalised basic policy expected by June 2020.

Yokohama ready to set up IR committee

The government in the Japanese city of Yokohama last week said it would submit an ordinance to the city’s assembly to set up an independent selection committee to choose its private sector partner for a tilt at a casino resort.

GGR Asia reported earlier this month that such large-scale casino complexes are known in Japan as integrated resorts or “IRs”.

The committee will consist of seven people adjudged to be independent of the local government, but expert in matters related to IRs.

The committee will subsequently report to the city assembly regarding its work.

A maximum of three casino resorts will be allowed in Japan in a first phase of liberalisation, and cities or prefectures qualified to have one will need to make a bid to the national government once they have chosen commercial partners for such schemes.

Yokohama city is due to announce its IR implementation policy by the end of March and to launch its partner selection via a request-for-proposal process between April and December.

Yokohama will have to prepare and submit an integrated resort plan to the national government between January 4, 2021, and July 30 that year.

Japan’s central authorities said last month they planned to stick to a previously mentioned schedule for the application period during which local governments can seek the right to host a casino resort.

In late December, it emerged that seven entities that are already gaming operators in their own right had submitted concepts to Yokohama regarding IR schemes.

Yokohama’s suitors included Genting Singapore, operator of Resorts World Genting casino complex in Singapore.

On Tuesday, that firm said it had won overwhelming approval from its shareholders to pledge up to US$10 billion in investment in pursuit of a casino resort project in Japan.

In other developments, last Tuesday in Aichi prefecture, it was announced it intended to extend the deadline of its request-for-information process – aimed at private-sector firms regarding a potential integrated resort – from the end of March to the end of May.

The process in December.

The extension was due to the delay of the announcement of the national government’s integrated resort basic policy, said Aichi.

The RFI is reportedly for Aichi to determine whether or not to tilt at an integrated resort.

The governor, Hideaki Omura, said in a decision on the matter would be made after April.

The potential site would be reclaimed land associated with the Central Japan International Airport – a facility known as Chubu Centrair International Airport, Nagoya – which is owned by Aichi prefecture.

Matters raised by Aichi in its request-for-information included: the basic concept, market analysis, entire property plan, its economic impact, organisation for development and operation and measures to enhance the attractiveness of the host area in relation to tourism.

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