Wynn Resorts Focusing Its Japan Efforts on Yokohama

  • Wynn Resorts is focusing its efforts on obtaining a casino resort license in Yokohama
  • Decision is largely due to the attractive tourist facilities that already exist in the city
  • The company has also confirmed that it will open an office in Yokohama on December 15
  • Several other major casino companies are eyeing up the same license
The Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip
Despite stiff competition, Wynn Resorts has decided to focus its efforts on securing an integrated resort license in Yokohama. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Yokohama or bust

Wynn Resorts has issued a press release confirming that the company is now only targeting an integrated resort license in Yokohama, Japan.

More precisely, Wynn Resorts is looking at the area of Kanto. This region encompasses the metropolitan area of Tokyo-Yokohama and is the wealthiest area in Japan.

Wynn Resorts has now settled on Yokohama because it already has many attractive tourist facilities

Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox spoke about how the company has been studying all potential sites across Japan. He said that Wynn Resorts has now settled on Yokohama because it already has many attractive tourist facilities, and its MICE facilities have a high potential.

The casino company is now exploring development and partnership opportunities in the region. It is also opening a Wynn Resorts Development Japan office in Yokohama on December 15. This office will be located on the 18th floor of the Yokohama Landmark Tower. 

Expansion plan

Wynn Resorts is looking to expand its reach into Japan through one of the three integrated resort licenses that are on offer. Three different regions will receive such a license. Therefore, it will be the regions that get these licenses who will decide what casino operator they want to partner with. 

Wynn Resorts is fighting against most of the other major global casino companies to obtain a license. The company obviously feels it has a better chance of getting a license if it focuses on a specific region. It was only two months ago that Wynn Resorts stopped pursuing the license for Osaka.

Competitive bidding process

Other companies have also abandoned their pursuit of licenses in certain cities in recent times. Las Vegas Sands has also pulled out of the race to secure the Osaka license, concentrating its efforts on Yokohama instead. Melco Resorts and Entertainment took the same approach and has already opened an office in Yokohama. 

When Yokohama requested an expression of interest from casino companies in 2018, the city received 22 responses. Development costs for such a casino will be in the region of $10bn.

While no concrete budget has been publicized, Wynn Resorts did say that its potential project in Japan would the biggest it has been involved with. According to reports, it could cost in the region of $8-$9bn.

What happens next?

Authorities in Yokohama launched a request-for-concept process in the middle of October. This means that any private sector companies that have an interest in operating a resort in the region must submit plans to the authorities. This process will come to an end on December 23.

City officials have identified the Yamashita Pier as a potential location for the integrated resort

After this process has been completed, it appears likely that Yokohama will publish its implementation policy for an integrated resort by spring 2020. The request-for-proposal process will then begin.

City officials have identified the Yamashita Pier as a potential location for the integrated resort. This, of course, is if the region is lucky enough to win one of the three licenses. This 47-hectare site is close to the waterfront attractions in the city, as well as the Yokohama Bay Bridge and Chinatown.