Yokohama Pulls Out of Race for Japanese Casino License


Posted on: September 10, 2021, 07:49h. 

Final up to date on: September 10, 2021, 07:49h.

Japan’s second largest metropolis, Yokohama, has formally withdrawn its bid to host a on line casino resort. The town was as soon as an enormous favourite to be chosen as a location for one among three built-in resorts underneath authorities laws handed in 2018 to legalize on line casino gaming in Japan.

Takeharu Yamanaka
Yokohama’s new mayor, Dr Takeharu Yamanaka, campaigned on an anti-casino ticket, whereas promising to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. (Picture: Asahi Shimbun)

However the writing has been on the wall for Yokohama for the reason that shock election of its new mayor, Dr Takeharu Yamanaka, who opposed the on line casino course of.

The information scientist and former Yokohama Metropolis College professor has no prior political expertise. However his work on analysing vaccine efficacy on coronavirus variants is what offered him to voters, suggesting that casinos usually are not excessive on the record for a populace prioritizing security throughout the pandemic.

Public By no means Bought

The reality is, they by no means have been. On line casino legalization has lengthy been a pet undertaking of the ruling Liberal Democratic Occasion (LDP), which believes built-in resorts will increase tourism and supply financial stimulus. However the public has by no means been satisfied, particularly in Yokohama.

A September 2018 poll commissioned by the municipal authorities discovered {that a} staggering 94 p.c of Yokohama residents mentioned that they had unfavourable viewpoints on permitting an built-in on line casino resort to be constructed within the metropolis. Most cited a rise in downside playing as their main concern.

In the meantime, approval scores of the casino-backing LDP have plunged over authorities failure to regulate the pandemic. Final week, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga introduced he wouldn’t search re-election after only a 12 months in workplace.  

Japan has endured three states of emergency and 4 waves of the pandemic, and lots of the nation’s large cities stay underneath a state of emergency.

Course of Stalled

Former mayor Fumiko Hayashi declared Yokohama’s curiosity in an built-in resort in 2019. However her continued assist of the on line casino undertaking contributed to her downfall on the current election.

The brand new mayor mentioned at his first coverage speech at a neighborhood meeting Friday that town authorities would instantly halt the continued strategy of bidding for the built-in resort “in response to the voices of residents against the built-in resort undertaking.”

The method itself has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, however the authorities has mentioned it plans to choose the three places between October and April subsequent 12 months.

Now that Yokohama is out of the image, simply three potential hosts stay: town of Osaka and Osaka Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture, and Nagasaki Prefecture. Every has teamed up with a world on line casino operator on their respective bids.


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