Murky Prospects for Yokohama IR

By Michael Penn, AGB Japan correspondent. Most gaming industry analysis currently predicts that the city of Yokohama may very well become the host for Japan’s largest IR in the mid-2020s. Situated in Kanagawa Prefecture as part of Japan’s capital region—with its vast population of tens of millions—almost any major IR operator would love to have a piece of this action; but even should Japan’s IR Implementation Bill pass smoothly through the national legislature, it remains far from clear that Yokohama will actually decide to seek a license. Until last year, Yokohama was indeed one of the more proactive municipal governments. The city has commissioned several major IR studies, a couple of which reach nearly 200 pages in length. The most likely location for the construction of a Yokohama IR has also been identified—the Yamashita Pier district near the main seaside park and the city’s famous Chinatown. Moreover, the business-friendly Yokohama Mayor Fumiko...

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