Japan, Yokohama (generic)
The announcement by Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi on August 19 that her municipal government would be moving forward with an IR bid reshaped the licensing race in a way that few other events up to this point have done.
Major international IR operators and gaming industry analysts had been hoping that at least one of the governments in the Kanto region – with a population of about 38 million people the most populous urban area in the world – would raise its hand and enter the race. The fact that it was Yokohama, which is already a stylish and wealthy port city that draws millions of foreign tourists annually, made it a much more attractive prospect.
Yokohama’s entry into the race was not such good news for rival Osaka, which had previously been drawing the lion’s share of attention. For many months it had looked as if Osaka would be the...
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