Yokohama initiates RFC phase of casino license proposal

In Japan and officials in the city of Yokohama have reportedly launched the request for concept (RFC) phase of their plan to secure one of the nation’s coming trio of licenses to build and operate an integrated casino resort.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Yokohama wants to utilize a 116-acre waterfront parcel of land near Yamashita Park as the site for its envisioned integrated casino resort and believes that the completed facility will help it to increase its attractiveness to both foreign and domestic tourists. This prospect has already attracted interest from Macau casino giant Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited but is likely to face stiff competition from schemes being planned by as many as eight other communities including the likes of Osaka, Sasebo and Chiba.

Triumphant trio:

Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of last year that is to see the nation of some 126 million people offer up a trio of casino licenses. In order to be chosen as a host for one of these coming facilities, which are locally known as integrated casino resorts, communities are being required to partner with an experienced operator before submitting their final plans to a panel of federal selectors in Tokyo.

Prolonged process:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that such operators attracted by the potential of participating in the Yokohama RFC process have until the end of the month to register their interest and are subsequently to be given until late-December to hand in their official proposals. The city then purportedly intends to use these tenders as a base from which to work out a draft implementation policy in hopes of naming a final partner sometime in 2021.

Yokohama is now the third Japanese community after Osaka and Sasebo to have initiated such an RFC process with local officials reportedly eager to see how potential operators intend to approach a number of issues including landscaping, problem gambling and tourism promotion concerns. This sequence is to moreover see the giant Kanagawa Prefecture city begin accepting separate proposals from firms desirous of being given permission to handle related infrastructure matters dealing with such things as transportation and the environment.

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