US based gaming and hospitality leader Wynn Resorts Ltd. has reaffirmed its bid for an integrated resort in the Kanto region and Yokohama specifically.
Wynn Resorts Readies Yokohama Bid
As prefectures continue to vie for the right to host the inaugural Integrated Resort project in Japan so are gaming brands trying to secure exclusive rights. Wynn Resorts Ltd. has become the latest company to reaffirm its commitment to what has been described as the investment of the century in the gaming business, after first dropping out of the Osaka race.
On Wednesday, December 11, the company published a statement that it will focus its efforts on Yokohama.
Already operating in Asia under Wynn Macau Ltd., the company confirmed that it will be opening an office on Sunday, December 15, officially establishing the Wynn Resorts Development Japan, the entity tasked with protecting the company’s interest in the country.
In the company’s official press release, Wynn CEO Matt Maddox said that Wynn Resorts is focusing on collaborating with local governments in a bid to secure a place in the first Integrated Resort. To this end, the company will seek to work with a city in the country and draw up a pivotal design and plan for the first IR.
Wynn Facing Off Melco in Yokohama
Wynn will be facing tough competition in the Kanto region as main rival Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. said in September it would also be bidding for an integrated resort in Yokohama.
Melco vowed $10 billion to develop the multi-facility resort, falling in line with the predictions of Las Vegas Sands Cooperation boss Sheldon Adelson who said the project would cost at least that much.
During a recent earnings call which was also attended by Adelson, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, executives agreed that the price tag may have gone up to at least $12 billion.
Meanwhile, Melco shifted its interest in Yokohama after deciding against pursuing further business opportunities in Osaka. Both Wynn and Melco have effectively given up on pursuing Osaka as a potential place for their IR projects.
Around the same time, Yokohama released the request-for-concept (RFC) process, which is expected to galvanize companies into action and submit their proposals by December 23, 2019. The integration policy will have to take a temporary backseat until Q1-Q2, 2020.
The national government is also working on a binding framework for casinos in Japan, but a framework is expected to be released no sooner than H1 2020.
Wakayama Moving in on an RFP in 2020
The Wakayama prefecture is also planning to launch a request-for-proposal (RFP) process as early as the spring of 2020. The goal is to secure private sector partners who can promise enough funding for the region’s infrastructure and other public facilities.
Wakayama will effectively be bidding for an integrated resort, but to get there it would need to meet governmental criteria by teaming up with private partners.
Some prefectures, such as Osaka, have already revealed the names of their partners, now planning to argue their case with the country’s parliament, the National Diet.