Takeharu Yamanaka, Yokohama’s newly mayor, has announced that the city’s IR plans will be cancelled from October 1.
Japan.- Less than a month after winning Yokohama’s mayoral elections, Takeharu Yamanaka has announced the city will withdraw its integrated resort plans and disband the IR promotion office.
Takeharu Yamanaka, who was chosen as the candidate to represent the CDPJ, was known to disagree with the development of an integrated resort, arguing that it could cause issues with gambling addiction.
Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Genting Singapore were the two remaining candidates to be Yokohama’s partner for its bid.
Galaxy Entertainment had already dropped its bid claiming the business climate had been “exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.” Another contender, Shotoku, was dismissed after the Yokohama city government said its bid was below minimum requirements.
Genting Singapore withdraws from Yokohama’s IR bid
After the announcement made by Takeharu Yamanaka, the company issued a statement saying: “Genting Singapore has shelved its effort in Yokohama’s request-for-proposal (RFP) process for an integrated resort.”
The casino operator added: “We are surprised and disappointed by the unexpected turn of events leading to the city’s decision to cancel the Yokohama IR bid.”
It said the IR development could have benefited the city and its community, and at the same time could have made Yokohama a world-class tourism destination.
In June, analysts suggested that Yokohama’s possible withdrawal from the IR contest could leave the door open for Tokyo to bid for an integrated resort licence. However, a survey by a local newspaper found that 66 per cent in Tokyo are against an IR development and only 24 per cent are in favour.