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Foreign operators eager to open casino in Yokohama

  • November 8, 2019
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 26
  • JMH Translation

By Akihiro Shimura

 

On Nov. 7, representatives of three foreign integrated resort (IR) operators considering making inroads into Yokohama gathered to deliver speeches in the city, which is exploring the possibility of hosting an IR featuring a casino. Some of their remarks were made with citizens opposed to the city’s plan to bid for an IR in mind, but they indicated their willingness to make a foray into the city, saying, “Yokohama is a city with great potential.”

 

The “IR Yokohama promotion council,” which is made up of the Yokohama Chamber of Commerce and Industry and eight other business groups supporting Yokohama’s IR bid, and other organizations will hold “the first integrated resort industry fair” in late January next year. The speeches, which attracted an audience of some 200 people, were part of a briefing session for business operators considering joining the exhibition.

 

Wynn Resorts Japan Representative Chris Gordon expressed his willingness to open an IR in the city, saying: “Yokohama is an ideal location. There are negative views of casinos, but we’ll do things in the right way by following the rules.” A senior executive of U.S.’s Las Vegas Sands said: “There’re many objections to IRs. We want to dispel the misunderstandings and make Yokohama a more famous tourist spot.”

 

Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said: “Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan, but it’s relatively unknown. We’ll respect Yokohama’s culture and make the city a world leader.”

 

Six IR operators, security companies, and financial companies are scheduled to set up booths at the first IR industry fair. The event organizers said there will be no exhibition related to casinos.

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