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Yokohama confirms only two partners left in IR race

Yokohama’s local Government has confirmed there are only two potential partners left in the prefecture’s race for an integrated resort (IR).

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The authorities didn’t name the companies, but the remaining candidates are Genting Singapore and Melco Resorts.

Yokohama’s IR race initially had more firms aiming for partnership, but recently Galaxy Entertainment dropped out, and Sega Sammy announced it wants to become a minority shareholder in the IR instead of leading it; the company has reportedly entered into a partnership with Genting Singapore.

Shotoku, another candidate, is based in Yokohama; however, it’s a smaller organisation compared to Melco or Genting Singapore, and the local Government decided Shotoku’s bid didn’t meet requirements, meaning the firm dropped out at the final stage.

The proposed site for the prefecture’s IR is the Yamashita Pier and authorities will select the IR partner in summer. The window for RFP submissions is set from 1 to 11 June.

But one of the possible hurdles for the new casino in the prefecture is the mayoral election which will take place on 22 August. There is a divide within the local Government between those who support the IR in the prefecture and those with anti-IR leanings.   

Observers believe Genting Singapore is in a strong position to win the right to build a casino in Yokohama, which should generate close to $7bn in yearly gross gaming revenue (GGR).

According to Maybank Research, Genting Singapore meets the Government’s criteria for its financial ability, promotion of tourism and responsible gambling initiatives.

Analysts have stated that the level of local GGR for Japan’s IRs could reach as high as $11.7bn, including revenue from tourism.

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