Yokohama Announces New RFC Phase Which Runs Till November 30
When Japan legalized gambling in 2018 and announced that it would be initially issuing licenses for three integrated resorts (IR), there was massive interest from all of the top casino operators across the world.
Las Vegas Sands Corp, Wynn Resorts, Crown Resorts and MGM Resorts were some of the operators who were willing to invest billions of dollars in Japan to bag one of these gaming licenses. However, Japan has been very slow in moving forward with gaming regulations and till date no casino licenses has been issued.
Yokohama which is the second largest city in Japan is one of the cities that is expected to host a multi-billion dollar casino. Yokohama ran a request for concept (RFC) phase in 2019 and received a total of 7 RFCs from casino operators. However, Yokohama has now decided that it is time for them to run another RFC phase as they needed an updated version.
Yokohama officials claim that the old RFCs did not take into consideration the impact of COVID-19, existing finances and business projections. As a result, Yokohama launched its second RFC phase on October 13 and will run till Nov 30. Only the seven casino operators who had earlier submitted their RFC will be allowed to send in a fresh submission.
Casino Operators Dropping Out
The seven casino operators who had submitted an RFC to Yokohama were Las Vegas Sands Corp, Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, Wynn Resorts Ltd, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, Genting Singapore Ltd, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc and Shotoku Corp. A number of these casino operators have lost interest in the Japanese market.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. which is the biggest casino operator in the world announced in July that due to the stringent regulations being considered by Japanese gaming regulators, they no longer found the gaming environment welcoming and decided to drop out. Wynn Resorts followed suit a month later and shut down its office in Yokohama saying that things were moving too slow for their liking.
Japan Will Accept IR Bids In 2021
The Japanese government announced earlier this month that it will be ready to start accepting IR license applications from October 2021. Japan will need to come out soon with its official gaming regulations so that gaming operators will have a clear picture of what they are going to be investing in. Japan is currently opened up its national policy on gambling to the public and is taking feedback till Nov 7.