The Japanese city of Yokohama has a steep hill to climb if it hopes to stay in the integrated resort bidding competition. Hoping to convince the public that it’s still worth it, the town’s leaders recently held it’s first of six public briefings to explain why an IR is worth it.
“We hope that you will understand the various attractions of an IR, the job creation, positive impact on Yokohama’s economic development and the contribution to the city’s finances,” said Deputy Mayor Toshihide Hirahara.
“I believe that this will be one of the sparks needed for economic recovery after coronavirus,” he added.
Of the questions that the public asked included how much revenue the city can expect to gain from an IR. City officials responded that 15% of the casino’s revenue would go toward the city, as well as entry fees for Japanese citizens. On top of that, with the added jobs and business that an IR would bring, tax revenues would surely increase.
Yokohama continues to push ahead with their plans for an IR bid, despite heavy public opposition. A vocal portion of the public have expressed their concerns of the negative effects a casino might bring, and have demanded the city drop out of the race. Mayor Fumiko Hayashi has decided not to allow a public referendum on the topic, instead opting to publicize the benefits of an IR. Her detractors aren’t happy with this route, and have started a recall campaign to end the mayor’s career, and the bid.
Although Yokohama’s government has shown no intention of dropping out of the race, its hard to imagine their bid will impress the central government with so much opposition. Wynn Resorts have announced that while they are still interested in a Japanese IR, they have no interest in the drama that’s happening in Yokohama.
Yokohama has five more tries to convince the public that they should settle down and get serious about an IR bid. The remaining meetings will be held by March 14.