Yokohama has been the focus for the past couple of months as many casino operators set their eyes on this prefecture as ideal for building an integrated resort. However, it seems that Yokohama is not so sure whether it needs or wants one such property in the area.
There were already numerous indicators that the locals aren’t really thrilled with the idea that there is going to be a huge casino near them. However, the government turned blind to the raised voices and continues to suggest the prefecture for receiving one of the three IR licenses that the government of Japan needs to award.
However, Yokohama’s local community is very tight-knit, and its members don’t seem like they are going to stop at just raising voices. In fact, the current mayor of Yokohama, Fumiko Hayashi, might end up leaving the office.
According to this piece published by Asia Gaming Brief, there is a very active coalition of people who are very opposed to the idea of having an IR built in their area. They are working hard on getting rid of the mayor who doesn’t share their views and still actively pushes for the IR.
Moreover, the coalition of citizens is asking for a public referendum, as they are certain that the majority of citizens don’t actually want an IR near them.
According to a survey which was taken lately, 64 percent of the poll participants expressed that they are not happy about an IR. However, the survey did not state how many people actually took the poll as there are approximately 3.75 million people living in Yokohama right now.
Operators Interested In Yokohama
On the other hand, operators are rather interested in building an IR in this place, which is already attractive when it comes to entertainment since it features the popular Yokohama Cosmo World theme park. Thousands of tourists visit the area every year, making it very lucrative for casino operators.
At the moment, the two operators that are most determined to win the bid and start building an IR in this area are Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts.
In fact, Las Vegas Sands is so sure about Yokohama that it stopped pursuing possibilities in other parts of Japan, as they recently announced that they would not focus on Osaka anymore.
Moreover, Melco is also very focused on Yokohama as it opened official offices in the area recently, hoping to connect with other businesses and individuals there.