Galaxy Entertainment and Monte Carlo casino drop out of Yokohama RPF

By Violeta Prockyte

Galaxy Entertainment Group, a casino operator in Macau, will no longer participate in the RFP process for Yokohama’s bid to secure a spot as one of the three integrated resorts (IR) in the country.

Galaxy, together with its partner Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer from Monaco, had been discussing the project for years with both Japanese authority and Yokohama’s local Government; however, due to “world and business climate which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the companies have decided to drop out.

Galaxy noted it is “honored to have learned a tremendous amount about the people, culture, and ambitions of Yokohama” and values the relationships built with the Government and local communities over the past few years.

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to play an active role in Yokohama’s IR selection process but have decided to not participate at this time,” said Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui. “We will continue our dialogue to support Japan in achieving its goal to develop a sustainable and world-class IR industry.”

Despite the statement not to lose interest in Japan’s IRs, it’s unclear where exactly the company could be planning to operate. Recently, Galaxy decided not to proceed with Osaka, dropping out of that project in February 2020, and other potential IR prefectures have their own partners, as the RPF process is already underway.

Yokohama also lost its third potential partner for the IR bid. Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts both left the prefecture’s race for a legal casino. Yokohama now has four companies aiming for the partner’s spot - Genting Singapore, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, Sega Sammy, and Shotoku – but the prefecture also faces criticism from local anti-casino groups.

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