Yokohama’s casino ambitions now mostly rests with Genting and Melco

With larger competitors out of the way and smaller rivals unlikely to go it alone, the fate of Yokohama’s casino ambitions now largely rests with Genting Singapore and Melco.

Genting and Melco likely to decide Yokohama casino race.

Genting and Melco likely to decide Yokohama casino race.

Yokohama fray is now widely seen as a two operator competition between Genting Singapore and Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

That appears to be the scenario after Yokohama’s request for proposal process turned up just four bidders, the aforementioned pair of gaming companies, Sega Sammy and Shotoku.

However, market observers view Shotoku, despite its a local company, as too small to pull off operating a high-end IR on its own. It’s also unlikely to be seen as an attractive partner for the city’s approach to policymakers to land one of ’s first three gaming licenses.

The field of contenders pursuing rights to build casino complex in Yokohama has been thinning for a year, most recently with the departure of Galaxy Entertainment. Prior to that were Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts.

The competition between Genting and Melco

A recent report from Maybank indicated  is the likely leader of competing in the city. The gaming operator reiterated its interest in Japan, noting it will consider the investment environment and whether or not a larg -scale project meets its standards.

Since making those comments in 2020, Genting Singapore has been mostly quiet on its Yokohama plans. It’s expected a Japanese IR will cost $10 billion to $15 billion. Genting will soon open the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas on the Strip.

While Maybank views Genting as the leader in Yokohama, Lawrence Ho’s Melco should be watched too. The firm has the Asia-Pacific operational experience and several of its premier properties are developed in partnership with another firm, meaning it’s able to defray some of the upfront costs.

It remains to be seen if Melco will take a similar tact in Yokohama. But it could make for a plausible combination with Sega Sammy because the Japanese company sees the necessity of luring Chinese gamblers to Japan.


Editing by Rachel Hu