A public hearing about the possibility of an integrated resort in Yokohama took place a week ago. Now, days later, the opposition to the entire process is gaining support. All those opposed to the casino are presenting their efforts as a way of stopping the city from becoming a gambling and gaming hub.
All casino operators in the country are interested in this location and for most, the second largest city in Japan is a great opportunity. This sentiment is shared through the local political landscape. Yet, a recent poll shows that about 97 percent of the local inhabitants are against the idea.
Now, groups are stepping up their individual and collective efforts to stop the arrival of casino operators and an IR to Yokohama. These include the Yokohama Harbor Transport Association and the Yokohama Harbor Resort Association.
Both are putting pressure on the mayor of the city, Fumiko Hayashi to convince him to abandon IR plans. The two organizations sent a letter to the mayor’s office where they showcase the poll results. They even go so far as to state that operating a casino and ignoring the population’s operation is unacceptable.
The IR Location
In many ways, the point of conflict around the IR venue is its location. The trade organizations believe that Yamashita Bay is better suited for a racing track than a casino. The track, in their view, would be able to attract more tourists as well as business travelers. Ultimately, its main prize would be to become a part of the official Formula 1 racing schedule.
However, those who are against the idea point that F1 has seen a consistent decline in popularity over the previous years. Furthermore, many Western nations, including the UK and Italy, removed live TV coverage of the races. But, the trader organizations have a reply to those cities with initiatives to try and attract Disney and one of its entertainment resorts.
This too seems like a far-fetched idea being that Tokyo already possesses such facility and it has a world-famous status. Essentially, these organizations are trying to galvanize public fears about gambling to create a big venue that would be non-gambling. There is a sense that they are more focused on stopping a casino than actually bringing in anything in particular.
However, the problem is the economic math behind this pushback. A IR resort is a certain money making business. Trade organizations assess than a non-gaming facility would also be able to generate almost $19 billion in revenue on an annual basis, but many are skeptical about those projections.
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